Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sanyang prefers briquettes to firewood

As they are committed to safe their forest

 The community of Sanyang has committed themselves in replacing the firewood and charcoal to fuel briquette from groundnutshells; introduced by GreenTech Vision, a Community Base Organisation for environmental protection, based in Kololi.

The people of the Sanyang applauded GreenTech Vision for coming with the stove and briquettes in protecting their environment and the forest,” they made this commitment during a daylong sensitization and demonstration program organised by CBO recently in Sanyang.

The project funded by the UNDP Global Environmental Facility (GEF) -Small Grants Programme (SGP), is aimed at tackling environmental challenges like deforestation, loss of biodiversity and climate change and improving livelihoods.

The event also witness the presentation of certificates to various groups who are involve in the promotion of briquettes and improved cook stoves and also trees meant for the reforestation process of the forest of Sanyang.

Amie Sambou, Head of Promoters of the briquettes and Stoves in Sanyang, said the stove and briquettes comes to lift the burden of looking for firewood on women. The entire forest of Sanyang is now spoiled due to cutting down of trees for firewood. 

“This is why since the introduction of this stove and briquette we take it upon ourselves to promote it within the community, it is important to people’s health and to the protection of the environment,” she said.

She added: “We want every woman within the community to know and see the benefit of using this stove and briquette. It cut expenditure and is faster in cooking than that of the firewood and charcoal”.

She calls on the women of Sanyang to go in for the stove and briquette, because there is health and also protection of the environment.   

Lamin Jaban, Coordinator Niayelay (eye open) Kafo of Sanyang, a result of the introduction of the stove and briquettes, said they name the Kafo to Niayelay because they want their people to open their eye and take ownership of their own development.

“The stove and briquette are here to protect our forest and also substitute firewood and charcoal,” he said.

 He claimed that since the introduction of the stove and briquette it brings development and also reduce the health hazard of the smoke on women and children.

He said the stove and briquette has improves their economic status within the community, because the Kafo has already established a microfinance committee which is aimed at empowering women and youth of the community.

He said the Kafo is also committed to clean the community and make it litter free community; this will prevent unnecessary diseases within the village.

He said the GreenTech project makes them concentrate on tree planting and teaches them on the importance of trees on climate change. If we honour and continue using this stove and briquettes it will promote development within Sanyang.

He added that GreenTech has done everything for them on the sustainability of the project. “They trained us on how to manage the project, give us stove and briquettes, trained our welders on how to develop the stove and give them contracts to produce more stoves. Even if they did not help us now we will be able to sustain the project,” he proudly said.

Lenja Guenther, Chairperson, GreenTech Vision said the sensitization and demonstration programme is a turning point from the first day the briquette was introduce to date when the community will take ownership of the project.

“We want to hand over to the community at this point that was why we asked each group to bring their inputs to this programme (Drama, Core-group, Promoters and Welders),” she explained.

She posted that since the introduction of the stove and briquettes in Sanyang the respond has been very good, they already established their sale point and started selling.

She added that they already produce over 300 stoves with welders of Sanyang and these welders are producing even for the people of Gunjur, compensating the lack of welders at Gunjur.

She said the people who were participating before were given stove and briquettes for free to use it and practice what they preach and start teaching others within the community. Today’s programme showed that the community can really stand on their feet, they have that capacity.

She added: “They know how to promote the briquette; they already have the structural systems in place on how to sell it. For the project to be sustainable there has to be an income, when they sell the briquette, they are supposed to have profit out of it to expand the project”.

She said with the funding from UNDP Global Environmental Facility (GEF) -Small Grants Programme (SGP), they are able to give the Kafo of the community free stocks of stove and briquettes as samples and training materials.

She added that the free stocks they have at their sales points and the turnover they have, that is what they will used to buy the next stock to keep the business themselves.

She said the tree presentation to the participants is more of eye opener, as they have one tree for each active participant.
“This is just to show them how serious we are in protecting the forest, we don’t only want to save trees for fuel, but we want to actively reaforestate the forest here,” she said.

She stated that they realize that the best way of promoting the stove and briquettes is people having it in their homes, so they gave out 150 stoves to the participants and another 150 for the community that they will sell on microcredit. 
Lisa Darboe, President, Niayelay (Eye Open) Kafo of Sanyang, said the introduction of briquette and stove has open their eyes on the environmental hazards of cutting down of trees for firewood and charcoal. 

“It protect us from diseases that maybe cause by using firewood during cooking, it cut down our expenditure and above all it help us in protecting our forest,” she said.

She added that their aim is now to replacing the trees cut for firewood as GreenTech has already given them some trees, but will need more to reforest Sanyang.

She said the GreenTech project came to help the community of Sanyang and its surrounding and the people within these areas should also standby them to achieve their goals.

“Protecting the environment is everybody’s responsible, so if GreenTech come to help the people of Sanyang to protect their environment, then the people should embrace that and help them to achieve that goal,” she noted.     

Karamo Jammeh, welder at Sanyang, said the introduction of the stove and briquette to the people of Sanyang is blessing and also an eye opener to the community.

Jammeh who was among the trained welders on stove production by GreenTech said his workshop was contracted by GreenTech to reproduce the stove which they did and now they can produce enough for consumers.

He said since they start producing the stove the demand is relatively high from the people of Sanyang, which provide them (welders) a chance of continue production and income generation.

“Since we start this production we never sit a day and say we did not have work to do today, which mean it provide us enough jobs, which are helping us earn income. This stove did not only have environmental benefit but financial benefits too,” he added.  

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