Environmental Sustainability

1. Agro Forestry and Sustainable Development Firewood Conservation System in Northwest

The Foundation’s commitment to sustainable development have been fully demonstrated in the European Union funded project executed by the Ibrahim Shehu Shema Center for Renewable Energy titled “Agro Forestry and Sustainable Development Firewood Conservation System in Northwest Nigeria”. The project is an initiative that is in line with sustainability development goals. The project is targeted towards minimizing the rate of deforestation and to combat the adverse effects of climate change. Deforestation has numerous adverse effects on the environment such as desertification, loss of ecosystem, loss of biodiversity, land degradation, soil erosion, etc. Deforestation threatens the sustainability of the environment and puts the economy and the citizens of a country at risk. Based on this adverse effect of the loss of trees, the foundation did not hesitate to get involved with the project when consulted. Aside the effect of loss of trees on the environment and the economy, the use of firewood has contributed to health degradation of the people of the Northwest.
Experts have advised Nigerian women who expose themselves to harmful smoke while cooking as they tend to inhale heavy smoke from such method of cooking. According to experts, the smoke produced by burning wood exposes women to conditions like lung cancer and TB. These underprivileged ladies cannot afford medical care or drugs if they become ill. According to a climate change research, toxic smoking is responsible for at least 150,000 deaths annually among men and women in Nigeria. Women make up the majority of this group because they are still exclusively responsible for cooking in Nigeria. These women are forced to cut down trees to feed their families since they have limited resources. Women who have access to kerosene, which also produces carbon monoxide, use it. Hence, the initiative of tree planting which is a component of project to reduce the effect of loss of trees and encourage the use of alternative cooking system in the northwest.
The project involved three major components which include distribution of nursery trees to relevant farmers, distribution of cooking stove and development of processing industries for the Agro Forest products. Murna Foundation at the planning stage of the project trained fifty (50) enumerators on how to use the Global Positioning System Device (GPS) to capture actual locations on specific farm and the exact number and sizes of trees on each farm. The essence of this capturing exercise was to gain an insight on how to distribute the Agro Forest trees. With all the necessary equipment, and resources required for the project made available, Murna Foundation strategically organized a systematic distribution of nursery trees to the local farmers. With the use of GPS, the enumerators were able to identify the areas within the Northwest of Nigeria that require the trees and the appropriate number and sizes of the trees required in each location.


The farmers were properly sensitized on the need to plant the trees and they were also educated on the best approach to plant and ensure proper growth and maintenance of the planted trees to ensure that intended objectives were actualized.
As earlier highlighted, in addition to affecting Nigerian women, cooking with firewood puts our planet in peril by accelerating the global climate change that everyone is attempting to stop. Murna Foundation urged the Nigerian government, corporate executives, and public society to recognize the risks and opportunities related to cooking in Nigeria and join hands to curb the prevalent situation. While raising awareness of the risks associated with using kerosene or firewood for cooking, Nigerian women should also have access to and be able to afford alternate cooking techniques like using cooking gas/stove. If the nation's gas resources could be effectively utilized, it might become affordable for many homes.
Murna foundation in their effort to drastically reduce loss of trees to firewood, incorporated the sensitization of the northwest indigenes on alternative cooking techniques. Hence, the foundation distributed improved cooking stove to the indigenes and encouraged them to maximize the use and avoid cutting down trees withing the area for firewood.

2. Advocacy for Gas Flare Accountability in Nigeria (AGFAN)

Forty (40) Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) (including Murna Foundation) and Media groups constituted themselves into a network called Coalition Against Gas Flare (CAGAF) with Steering Committee Chaired by Initiative for Community Development (ICD). It was then that ICD invited nine CAGAF members including all the Steering Committee members to form the AGFAN cluster and applied to Palladium on July 16, 2021, to undertake advocacy on Gas Flare Discrepancies under the SCALE Project.

3. Tree planting campaign (2019)

In partnership with Women Environmental Program, we undertook a Tree Planting Campaign, whereby about 3000 trees were planted across 3 schools and 5 communities in Katsina State.

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