On March 3, Connected Development [CODE] through its Follow The Money project organized a stakeholders meeting with representatives from government agencies, private sector, civil society groups and development partners on building an accountable monitoring and financing framework for the clean cookstoves intervention for rural women.
During the meeting, Oludotun Babayemi, Co-Founder, Follow The Money, noted that ?46 days have passed since the approval of the 9.2 billion Naira meant for the purchase of 750,000 clean cookstoves and 18, 000 Wonderbags, and funds have not yet been released, while stakeholders, totalling about 40 individuals reiterated the fact there was no proper consultation with stakeholders before going ahead with the project?.
It would be recall that on November 26, 2014 the Federal Executive Council approved the sum of NGN 9,287,250,000.00 for the procurement and distribution of clean technologies to rural women.
The stakeholders were deeply concerned by the absence of a proper framework for the procurement and distribution of the clean cookstoves and strategy for engaging key stakeholders in the proper implementation of the clean cookstove scheme.
Furthermore, stakeholders got worried about the proposed beneficiaries of the clean cookstoves whom will be state, and local government ladies wife, bringing to fore, the legitimacy of some government actions around the distribution of clean cookstoves to rural women.
Where attempts have been made thus far to differentiate between who clean cookstoves should be given to freely, and those that can afford to buy, the foregoing is serious cause for concern to stakeholders as they raised the question of sustainability and viability in the clean cookstoves market.
The Ministry of Environment action with regards to distribution mechanism will have a negative impact on organizations that have been championing the emergence and market of clean cookstoves in the country.
?Connected Development [CODE] is mainly concerned about when the clean cookstoves will be distributed and whom it will be distributed to, as giving it freely to state and local government wives nominees will disregard the notion that the clean cookstoves are been distributed to the real energy poor women?, said Babayemi.
Against this background, the stakeholders calls on the Ministry of Environment, whose representative was absent at the meeting, to consult a wider stakeholder for the implementation of the National Clean Cookstove Scheme and institutionalise a publicly known mechanism for dissemination of the cook stoves, while making transparent the identities of beneficiaries of the stoves.