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Puntland promotes reduced-charcoal cooking stove to save money and trees

Monday December 2, 2019

A reduced-charcoal cooking stove being promoted by the Puntland government is cutting fuel costs for local families and starting to have a positive environmental impact.

A total of 4,850 stoves have been distributed by Puntland government in conjunction with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to families and traders in Bossaso, Garowe, Qardo, Galkayo, Badan, Dangoroyo and Burtinle.

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Faduma Yusuf was among 100 small-scale female traders given a total of 2,100 of the stoves to sell at discounted prices in their areas.

The stoves consume half the amount of charcoal used by normal stoves, which saves money and time spent looking for firewood.

“Rather than using three bags of charcoal, we use one and half bags of charcoal. The stove cooks the food quickly, and the children get their food on time,” she said. Fatuma has sold nine stoves for a total of $165.

“People would have to pay much higher prices for these stoves in the market,” Faduma said. She runs a small shop that makes her enough incomes to pay the 136 school fees bill for seven of 12 children under her care.

Puntland Ministry for Environment cooperating with UNDP has carried out various initiatives to promote more sustainable alternative energy sources and to diversify income for communities. The director of Puntland’s environment ministry, Abdiaziz Nur Elmi, told Radio Ergo that the project launched last year aims to promote alternative sources of energy to reduce local charcoal consumption and to diversify income for communities.

He said the trade in charcoal had already reduced significantly with the number of trucks delivering charcoal to towns down from about 100 trucks to 54-50 trucks per month.

“Many things have changed, for instance, in many streets in major towns, there used to be vehicles parked loaded with charcoal and firewood. But now we believe that the number is down by 60 per cent,” he said.

Abdirisack Mohamed Ali, an environmentalist based in Puntland, said such measures to reduce the use of charcoal were having a positive impact on the environment.

“One bag of charcoal takes six trees to fill it up. So now by using half a bag, only three trees are needed. This reduces the number of trees being cut down,” he said.

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