Nigeria: Alternatives to Firewood desperately needed

The problem here is the way our forests are fast-disappearing because
of the indiscriminate felling of trees for use as firewood or
charcoal, both of which are the means of cooking for most families. It
is obvious that with no alternative means of cooking and heating, most
families in Nigeria can only afford firewood instead of kerosene or
gas for their cooking.

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In the not-so-distant past, many parts of the neighbouring states the
commissioner was referring to also had lush forests with a variety of
trees that supported many animals as well. Those forests have since
fallen to the relentless and indiscriminate practice of tree-felling
in order to produce firewood. Such activity has now led to the
disappearance of forests and also grazing reserves giving rise to more
friction between farmers and animal rearers who have seen many lush
savannah turn into empty barren land.

It should worry us all that the problem is not regional thereby limited to those states close to the Sahara desert. Already many thick and previously impenetrable forests in Southern Nigeria are also disappearing because of the activities of  loggers, charcoal merchants etc. It is sad that a country like Nigeria with huge oil and gas resources and which actually flares millions of
cubic metres of gas, has not developed a way to use that resource as
fuel for domestic purposes, thereby saving its forests for other uses.

Daily Trust believes that it is not too late to do something about the
situation. Nigerian authorities need to fashion out and promote an
affordable and sustainable alternative to the use of firewood. Our oil
and gas could easily come to the rescue here. There is a lot to be
gained if an appropriate policy that delivers gas and kerosene to end
users for domestic use, at affordable prices is fashioned out. As
things stand now, the pricing of gas and kerosene does not encourage
their use by low-income families in Nigeria.

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Comments (3)

Usman H. MshelizahJuly 5th, 2009 at 1:01 pm

Infact the comments you are making is an understatement, we that are located in the norhtern extreme end of Borno state ( baga in particular in kukawa LGA ) are in better position to say how we are feeling the impact of deforestation. The lands are almost barren now, windstorm is permanent before iot was during harmmattan only, rainfall is no longer june now but late july. All these are the effect of deforestation, and the major cause of deforestation is poverty.

KevinSeptember 29th, 2009 at 12:58 am

Some spelling Mistakes there…

AjazJanuary 20th, 2010 at 10:28 am

we can safe all the forest resources through introducing alternative source of fuel wood, as fuelwood collection is the major cause of deforestation in many parts of the world. the local communities can play a vital role in management of forest resources as the theme of the globe has change and now a days the forest are being manage for to control global warming and climate change, deforestation is a global issue and we can control over it if we think globally and act locally to control deforeation,

Ajaz Ahmed
NWFP Forest Department
CHITRAL, Pkaistan

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