Operation Mama Put

The Speech given by the Gas to Health Initiative’s Chairman of the Board of the Trustees, Prince Haruna Momoh, at the launch of “Operation Mama Put”

This speech was given by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the presentation of the book ‘…Who Cooks It Feels the Brunt’ and the launch of the ‘Operation Mama Put/Local Food Vendors Conversion to LPG’ project.

“I welcome everyone who has honored our invitation to join the GTHI family in its launch of the book ‘Who Cooks It, Feels the Brunt’ and the official flag off of the “Operation Mama Put/Local Food Vendors Conversion to LPG Usage” nationwide project.

The book addresses the key issues of acceptability of LP Gas, focusing on four cardinal elements; efficiency, benefits, sensitization and the empowerment of core users of LP Gas. The book strikes on the root causes of low LP Gas usage and offers practical steps to achieving improved usage of LP Gas.

This is must-read literature for every Nigerian home, in further preparation for the inevitable shift to the use of LP Gas as the preferred domestic energy.

With an overabundance of resources and population of over 165m, Nigeria still ranks amongst the lowest in LP Gas consumption in ECOWAS member countries, with a per capita consumption of about 1.8kg, trailing countries like Senegal at 8.46, Cote D’Ivoire at 9.3kg and Ghana at 10kg per capita.

Despite being rated as the leading producer of LP Gas (Cooking Gas) in Africa with annual production of about 3.2 Million MT and 12th in Global ranking, Nigeria still ranks abysmally low in terms of consumption of LP Gas and its application to other relevant domestic, industrial and social purposes.

About 56% of energy needed for cooking within Nigeria is supplied by fuel wood (firewood) particularly in the rural areas. The cumulative effect of this trend is the negative impact on citizen health, the environment, and economy as a whole.

Deforestation and its effects (desertification, soil erosion, landslides, etc.), which can be traced directly to the high demand for cooking energy, has become a major issue in Nigeria over the years as we currently lose about 350,000 – 400,000 hectares annually.

In view of this environmental and socio-economic malaise, there is urgent need for a switch in the use of preferred energy from firewood and other alternative sources of energy to LP Gas popularly called cooking gas.

While there are a number of reasons for the low rate of success in the switch to LP Gas, inadequate awareness and sensitization of the populace has been identified as the greatest culprit.

The flag off of the “Operation Mama Put/Local Food Vendors Conversion to LPG Usage” Nationwide Project is notable, as the project is designed to take a practical approach to addressing this lack of awareness and sensitization. By providing the Mama Put women with LP Gas starter kits, the project hopes to make converts, and eventually, ambassadors of these members of the community, who will in turn create micro awareness of the benefits of LP Gas consumption.

Gas to Health Initiative (GTHI) is a non-profit, non-governmental and non-political organization with a firm resolve to bridge the gap between the private sector and government obligations, setting the ball rolling on promoting the growth of LP Gas consumption nationwide through massive awareness creation/education on safe use and handling of LPG and its appliances in addition to free donation of cylinders and its cooking appliances. Our major goal is to ensure a shift of the energy market towards using LP Gas as the most efficient energy for cooking in order to promote a healthier society.

OUR SCORE CARD

  • Gas to Health Initiative has within 30 months of inception visited 14 States across Nigeria in the course of our LP Gas awareness campaign
  • GTHI has distributed about 5,000 (filled) LP Gas cylinders of different calibrations 3kg, 6kg, 12.5kg with complete accessories, including burners (domestic and industrial) free of charge to Nigerians in the course of our outreaches
  • Educating the audience on safety measures to assuage fears and empower them with the required knowledge in the use of cooking gas, by deploying relevant publications during our campaigns
  • Distribution of the GTHI safety tips pamphlets which have been translated into four major languages (Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo and Pidgin English) and “What is in it for me?” for reference purposes. ABOUT 10,000 COPIESOF EACH HAVE BEEN DISTRIBUTED SO FAR.
  • GTHI is a member of the World Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (WLPGA), Nigerian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (NLPGA) Abuja Chamber of Commerce Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ABUCCIMA), World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO) and Nigeria Network of Non-Governmental Organizations (NNNGO).

In the process of our outreaches, GTHI identified a certain group of people who consume a large amount of harmful energy -firewood- and consequently contribute to deforestation and the continuous emission of toxic fumes into the environment. These groups of people are the Mama Put/Local food vendors (Akara/Yam Fryers, Corn boilers, Massa makers, Garri producers, etc.) who depend heavily on using firewood as energy to prepare food for their customers.

Our analysis showed that an average Mama Put consumes about 400kg of wood monthly (equivalent to about 36kg – three 12.5kg cylinders of LP Gas). 400kg of wood, when burnt emits about 700.7kg CO2 (carbon dioxide) in comparison to about 116.8kg CO2 released from consuming 36kg of LP Gas, which represents a staggering 83% difference. (WLPGA: Substituting LP Gas for Wood… Eric Johnson Atlantic Consulting).

FOR 3,000 MAMA PUT/LOCAL FOOD VENDORS IN THE F.C.T
WOOD @ 400kg/Mama put/Month LP GAS @ 36kg/Mama put/Month
PERIOD VOLUME (KG) CO2 EMMISSION (KG) VOLUME(KG) CO2 EMMISSION(KG)
1 MONTH 1,200,000 2,100,000 108,000 350,000
1 YEAR 14,400,000 25,200,000 1,296,000 4,200,000
ASSUMING THERE ARE 3,000 MAMA PUT/LOCAL FOOD VENDORS IN EVERY STATE IN THE COUNTRY.THEREFORE, IN THE 36 STATES PLUS THE F.C.T:
WOOD @ 400kg/Mama put/Month LP GAS @ 36kg/Mama put/Month
PERIOD VOLUME (KG) CO2 EMMISSION (KG) VOLUME(KG) CO2 EMMISSION(KG)
1 MONTH 44,400,000 77,700,000 3,996,000 12,950,000
1 YEAR 532,800,000 932,400,000 47,952,000

Besides leading to deforestation from hundreds of thousands of trees that must be cut down annually to sustain the energy demand, it is really disturbing for one to imagine the quantum of CO2 emission being released into the atmosphere, especially at a time when the whole world is preaching the gospel of going green and clean.

The Project “Operation MAMA PUT/Local food vendors CONVERT TO LP Gas usage” was born out of a need to stop this disturbing trend starting with this identified group.

The flag off of this project as being held today will trigger a nationwide energy shift towards the use of LP Gas as the most efficient energy for cooking, starting with 150 Mama Put/Local Food Vendors who have been adequately trained and equipped with the knowledge of safe usage/handling and benefits of LP Gas. The Mama Put women will also be given the charge to spread the word and get those around them on board, as GTHI Ambassadors.

At the end of the event today, every one of the already trained Mama Put/Local food vendors will receive a complete package of 12.5kg filled cylinder, double industrial burner, regulator and hose with clips, courtesy of GTHI.

The GTHI team plans to visit all the 36 States and F.C.T. distributing the starter kit to 200 Mama Put/Local food vendors in each state in the first instance after adequate training of the beneficiaries.

GTHI calls for partnership in achieving this great vision of converting the local food vendors to the use of LP Gas as the most efficient energy for domestic cooking.

This is a MUST do project. We all MUST put our hands together to arrest deforestation and to ensure that future generations are left with the legacy of a cleaner and safer environment.
The time to do this is now! The way to do this is to covert users of the harmful energy source (firewood) to the use of the most efficient energy for cooking, LP Gas (cooking gas) – an energy that is Cleaner, Cheaper, Available, Portable and Reliable.”