By Ndey Sowe
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has Tuesday launched alternative cooking fuels to promote sustainable management of the country’s scarce forest resources.
The initiative was launched on Tuesday, 19th January, 2021, at the aforesaid ministry in Bijilo under the topic: “Nationwide Awareness Raising Campaign and Distribution of Efficient Cook stoves and Alternative Cooking Fuels.”
The campaign was jointly funded by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) through Global Environmental Facility (GEF) 6 project.
The campaign involves raising the awareness level of the public on efficient and clean mode of cooking as well as distributing efficient cooking stoves and alternative cooking fuels.
Fafa Sanyang, Minister of Petroleum and Energy, said energy is a critical ingredient of the socioeconomic development of any country.
“Energy is used in every sector of the economy to support production and service delivery, and for any country to register meaningful development; it must be able to provide adequate, reliable and affordable energy services,” he said.
Minister Sanyang shared his optimism that the campaign will enlighten the people about the importance and benefits of using efficient cooking stoves and alternative cooking fuels.
He believed that after the campaign, people will start to use “these efficient cooking stoves and alternative cooking fuels distributed to them.”
Sanyang said this will help them reduce the amount of biomass energy consumed, help them save money and thus, reduce dependency on the forest for energy.
“Under the sixth replenishment cycle of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), The Gambia received a grant funding of six million four hundred and eighteen thousand US Dollars to implement a project in Climate Change Focal Area, titled: ‘Operationalization of the SE4All Action Agenda: promoting inclusive, environmentally-sound and low-carbon development,” Christophe Yoetot, UNIDO Representative said.
Yoetot added that the project revolves around four major components, namely, the creation of a national platform to foster nexus issues, promoting the use of energy efficient appliances, promoting the production and use of efficient cooking stoves, and alternative cooking fuel and quality assurance.
Lamin Camara, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, said the adoption of clean cooking energy can help address a number of challenges, whilst providing many advantages and opportunities.
“It will help reduce deforestation”, he said. “Clean cooking energy will also reduce smoke related illnesses and offers economic benefits.”