Sensor-enabled climate financing pilot for cleaner cookstoves in Nigeria

More than half of Nigeria’s population live on less than $1 per day, and 50% to 80% of households burn biomass (wood, coal, and dung) for household cooking. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 218,000 people (mainly children under the age of five) die in Nigeria every year from respiratory diseases associated with indoor air pollution and solid fuel use. 

Moving Nigeria’s households away from traditional cookstoves and to improved cookstoves could significantly reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), including black carbon, and lower indoor air pollution. However, the environmental and health benefits of switching to clean cooking varies dramatically depending variables like stove make and model, implementation strategy, and rates of adoption in households. Often the women who will pay for and switch to new stoves are not involved in the design or roll out for these new technologies, and find that many clean cookstoves are unsuitable and do not meet their normal cooking needs.

Nexleaf Analytics and Project Surya have developed a Sensor-Enabled Climate Financing mechanism to make “advanced” clean cookstoves affordable to the rural poor. Sensor-Enabled Climate Financing is currently empowering women in seven villages in Odisha, India to make the switch to improved cookstoves. The sensors in the stoves have verified a 93% adoption rate.

Based on the model’s successes in India, Nexleaf Analytics and RUWES (Rural Women Energy Security) in Nigeria are working to replicate the model in 100 rural Nigerian households.


This activity aims to identify clean, usable stoves appropriate for the Nigerian market, and document the specific gaps in technology and usability for existing improved stove options. Nexleaf Analytics and Rural Women Energy Security (RUWES) are laying the groundwork to expand Sensor-Enabled Climate Financing in Nigeria. Sensor-Enabled Climate Financing enables the very poor to switch to clean cooking by providing direct usage-based climate credits for mitigating black carbon and carbon dioxide emissions.  

The Sensor-Enabled Climate Financing method could be a breakthrough approach for Nigeria. Nexleaf has proven their ability to implement successful cookstove programs in rural areas, through the over 90% adoption rate of improved cookstoves in Odisha, India.  

Why we're doing this work

There are several challenges that must be overcome, mainly related to identifying clean cooking appliances that people want to use and adopt. Local finance institutions must also be willing to provide finance to pay for the stoves, and clean fuels need to be accessible and affordable to the women. Nexleaf’s work in Nigeria and previously in India is making a case for results-based scaling and programming as precursor to financing. As results-based financing continues to grow in the energy space, for example the World Bank’s planned $500 million Clean Cooking Fund to drive universal access to clean cooking for the poorest 3 billion, it is necessary to have identifiable methods to track and prove results for investors and for people. 

What we're doing

RUWES women entrepreneurs are training women in 100 households on proper cookstove use, best practices, the dangers of short-lived climate pollutants and indoor air pollution, the health benefits of switching to cleaner cooking, and how StoveTrace devices track their cookstove usage. Women are rewarded through climate credit payments based on the number of hours of cleaner cooking. Nexleaf’s StoveTrace wireless cookstove monitoring platform combines sensor devices, cloud-based data analytics, visualizations and related technologies and operating processes (collectively referred to as “StoveTrace”).   

RUWES and Nexleaf will deliver a user-friendly, scalable “Deployment Kit” for Nigerian entrepreneurs to educate them on the program, and share findings and best practices within the broader cookstove sector and general public. The Deployment Kit will include a training manual on Sensor-Enabled Climate Financing, an after-sales service model for maintaining and repairing cookstoves, and recommendations for compensation for entrepreneurs to ensure sustained participation. This Deployment Kit can also be shared beyond Nigeria to other SNAP countries, and other dissemination channels. 

Based on usage data collected via the StoveTrace platform and qualitative data collected from follow-up surveys conducted by RUWES women entrepreneurs, RUWES and Nexleaf recommend the best available options for improved cookstoves in Nigeria, assess manufacturers’ capacity to provide improved cookstoves at scale, and provide lessons learned on stove design elements that are most acceptable to Nigerian women. 

Pollutants (SLCPs)