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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Growing firewood wholesale markets, threat to dwindling forest ecosystem – Don

A don, Prof. Christian Madu, says growing firewood wholesale markets in the country remained a great threat to dwindling forest ecosystem.

About 95,300 Nigerians die every year from smoke coming from firewood use

There have been emerging wholesale markets for firewood across the country recently.

For instance, on the stretch of Nike Lake-Nsukka Road, there are about two major emerging wholesale firewood markets with at least 30 heaps of gigantic firewood each at Ogbeke Nike community and Isi-Uzo Junction in Enugu State.

Madu, a Professor of Environment Management and Control with the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), said on Friday, February 4, 2022 in Enugu that the development “negates all efforts to shift citizens to use of clean energy” by the country and its development partners.

“It is not a positive development and it negates international best practices in conservation of the forest and vegetation environment,” Madu said, describing the practice.

According to him, this new development can be attributed to poor government policy control, as well as lack of mechanism on the part of all tiers of government to protect the forest and environment.

“Using firewood to cook releases high quantities of dangerous carbons into the environment, which in the long run remained injurious to human and environment health of a given locality, and by extension the society at large.

“There should be serious and conscious efforts at sustaining awareness and education of our people to the harm they are doing to the environment, ourselves and the next generation by continuing in harmful environmental practices.

“The cooking gas use policy should be made in a way to lure all residents, notwithstanding socio-economic status, to key into it.

“This is by making it affordable and accessible to Nigerians in remote villages,” he said.

The don also urged all tiers of government to be more serious with the awareness and education on environmental protection, to check emerging unfounded philosophy by some people living in some localities.

Madu said: “Some locals have this opinion that food cooked with firewood is tastier and more natural than those cooked with other forms of energy.

“For this opinion, they still encourage their households to always use firewood notwithstanding their better socio-economic status and how educated they are.”

By Stanley Nwanosike

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