The Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, says it has established three fuel-efficient stove production centres in Borno to check indiscriminate felling of trees.
Macki Tall, the FAO’s Deputy Country Representative, made the disclosure at the inauguration of Fuel-Efficient Stove Production Centre, Gongulon in Jere Local Government Area of the state.
Mr Tall said the measure was part of a comprehensive programme initiated by the organisation to reduce dependence on firewood, encourage development of alternative energies and provide sustainable livelihood to communities.
“To achieve this goal, the FAO has partnered with Borno State Ministry of Environment and the International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development, to establish three production centres for fuel-efficient stove production.
“The centres are in Jere, Konduga and Maiduguri Local Government Councils and have provided training to 100 people in the production of fuel-efficient stove and in the business aspect of running the centres.
“In the first stage, the project foresees to distribute at least 5,000 locally produced fuel-efficient stoves in the three local government areas to households with very limited access to firewood.
“This will help them to reduce the amount of firewood needed to meet their daily cooking need,” Mr Tall said.
He disclosed that the programme was also designed to control deforestation and desert encroachment, noting that over 407,000 hectares of forest resources were deflated annually through tree felling.
Tall added that people engaged in firewood collection were prone to attacks and abduction by Boko Haram insurgents, while women and children were exposed to eye and respiratory infections through inhalation of harmful firewood smoke.
The Borno State Commissioner for Environment, Kaka Shehu, said the initiative would go a long way in protecting forest resources in the state.
Mr Shehu, represented by Mala Barma, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said that the state government had adopted proactive measures to discourage use of firewood and fast-track implementation of the Great Green Wall Project.
“Our forest has been subjected to large scale degradation due to activities of the insurgents over the past years.
“Owing to the strangulation of businesses and economic activities as a result of the insurgency, the communities took to wood logging as a means of livelihood, and the situation has been a great concern to the government.
“For the FAO to come up with this laudable initiative for the establishment of production centres for locally produced fuel-efficient stove, is a welcome development,” he said.
Some of the beneficiaries of the training programme, also commended the gesture, noting that it would improve their social and economic conditions.
Bukar Umar, one of the beneficiaries, called on the government to provide them with a vehicle to ease difficulties experienced in the movement of clay and other raw materials to the centre.
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