Solar Cookers World Network


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December 30, 2006

Trucks at charcoal dump


Trucks offloading charcoal

HELPING THE SAHARA Most of sub-saharan Africa is burried either in the forest or stand as an island. Nigeria happens to be the major petroleum refining and exporting country - supplying its products to some greater number of the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States)countries. Unfortunately, inasmuch as the fuel is readily available, the price remains prohibitive and less accessible to the average family. Ironically, Nigeria itself imports refined petroleum products for its domestic consumption from overseas. The result is endless dependence on fossil fuel for our domestic needs - hence the flaggrant exploitation of the forests. Aware of this tendency, governments had embarked on tree planting campaigns at various levels; but little result has been achieved by these efforts for lack of alternative energy. Cost of electricity is beyond the reach of many urban dwellers let alone the rural majority, hence people prefer to do most of their cooking with charcoal or firewood. In the riverine communities where fishing is the major occupation, preservation is not possible except by drying the fish over firewood or charcoal. The level of carbon infused into the fishes during this drying process constitutes a major source of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases. High percentage of much needed protein is lost through this process of preservation. With these activities of wood cutting, our wild-life is almost getting extinct. The beautiful ecology is being destroyed at a fast rate giving room to ocean and desert encroachment. The photographs show pile of firewood for sale and some trucks offloading charcoal while buyers are qeueing up to take delivery of their consignments. Only a solar revolution can save the situation.{

Forest exploitation

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