Rwanda Energy Group (REG), in partnership with its stakeholders, carried out an awareness campaign in Huye District on Thursday about safe and effective cooking using modern stoves, which is a better method to protect environment.
The campaign took place in Maraba sector and brought together REG staff, energy companies, local leaders and residents.
Residents, who appreciated those modern stoves compared to the firewood culinary method, complained about prices, which is Rwf18,000 for firewood stoves and Rwf15,000 for charcoal stoves.
Belchimas Sebahinzi, a resident of Maraba sector said “No one can doubt on the quality and role of these stoves, but our main concern is the accessibility, they are more expensive, many of us can not earn such sum of money even in 5 months, where shall we get that capacity of buying them?” She complained.
For Immaculee Musabyimana, those modern stoves are good but high cost is their only challenge.
“They are efficient as we see, but, I cannot hide you anything, we are too poor to buy those stoves. Any support to buy them can be better for us. Hardly do we afford those usual stoves which are at low cost, imagine these modern ones, many of us use firewood to cook”. She said.
Eng. Oreste Niyonsaba, the Manager for Social Energies at REG replied him that, “those who cannot afford the cost should create cooperatives and pay little by little until they terminate the dept; and also residents should know the role of environment protection which is supreme to human kind.” Niyonsaba said
The modern stoves were designed to use few charcoals, quick cooking, but more importantly to protect environment.
72 per cent of Rwandans still use firewood for cooking but REG eye to reduce rate of 42 percent by 2024.
Niyonsaba announced that, REG will push public institutions and those who cook for many people to use gas as a strategic method to protect environment.
“The Government will be exemplary to embrace the method of using gas, currently we have public schools which have already applied that system of utilizing gas. To achieve our goal of 42% reduction in 2024, public schools, prisons and others who cook for a huge number of people should use gas, that is indisputable, we have no other choice” He stated.
On the cost issue, Niyonsaba said that as long as modern stoves’ users increases, stoves makers and investors will also increase, which means that the price will decrease.
Once citizens are not aware of consequences of cutting trees, Rwanda will face desertification and the destruction of ecosystem according to Niyonsaba.
Currently, 1,1% of Rwandans use gas, 17,4% use charcoals while 89,9% use firewood.
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