Women are Exposed to Health Risks When Cooking
As women are primarily responsible for cooking, both in the home and within business ventures, they are a primary target for the Gas to Health Initiative (GTHI). Whilst cooking, women are exposed to a variety of health issues such as stomach pain, itchy eyes, chest infections, kidney infections, low weight of offspring at birth and potentially fatal snake bites.
“Mama Put” is a term used for female local food vendors who operate from stores and shacks by the roadside. Some of these women also travel throughout their neighbourhoods with ready-prepared food in a cart or trolley.
Mama Puts were chosen for the following reasons:
- Health – Mama Puts suffer more with smoke inhalation related illnesses than any other group. The GTHI sees this group as a priority, tackling the problem at the source, rather than relying on healthcare further down the line.
- Environment – When speaking to the Mama Puts, we found that their firewood consumption was between 30-50kg per week, a significant amount. This poses a great threat to the ecosystem, especially when there is no immediate plan to repopulate the natural vegetation.
- Economic – They spend more on traditional cooking fuels, though ignorantly. An average mama put operator, we learnt spends about N10,000.00 or $40.00 per week on purchasing of firewood whereas same amount can purchase over 70kg of LPG which has more calorific value.
- Job creation – Mama Put conversion will not only enhance the business capacity of these operators and therefore mean they employ more staff, but will also increase the overall consumption of LPG in Nigeria with a subsequent ripple effect on job creation for the entire economy.
- Children – Child labour is highly relied on for gathering firewood. One effective way this can be to stopped, is to provide a better and cheaper alternative, such as LPG.
- Effective Advertisement – The visibility of Mama Puts in Nigerian society makes them a useful way of advertising the use of LPG. Watching them cook with it will help to dispel concerns regarding the usage of this fuel.
- To convert at least 7,200 food vendors across Nigeria to LPG.
- To distribute cooking sets, complete with 12.5kg cylinders filled with gas, a gas burner and accessories to food vendors across Nigeria.
- The GTHI has now trained approximately 150 Mama Put operators in Abuja on the safe use of LPG for cooking.
- We aim to empower women, especially those in rural areas, to adopt a better way of cooking with LPG. We aim to carry out this project in all the 36 states and the capital of Nigeria within the next 2 years.