MOROTO – When the German international non-governmental organization introduced the program of the use of energy-saving stoves in Karamoja, the natives in the region thought the program would not succeed to stop the cutting down of trees because several NGOs tried to stop people from cutting trees but all their effort failed since it was the only source of cooking and some part of firewood is sold. However, currently, many Karamojong women have liked the use of energy-saving stoves.
Karamoja generally is a semi-arid plain, largely savannah, covered with seasonal grasses, thorny plants and shrubs. The region has harsh climate and low annual rainfall which does not often exceed 800milimeters per year. Historically the Karamojong have adapted to the unfavorable climatic conditions in the central and eastern parts of the region by focusing on livestock rearing with crop cultivation along with the green belt areas, however, as a result of loss of cattle due cattle rustling, the population resorted cutting down trees for burning charcoal and bricks as the way for the income.
But begging last year PML Daily learned that the rampant cutting down of tress in Karamoja districts for firewood and charcoal burning is going down due to positive attitude by the Karamojong women towards the use of energy-saving stoves and also they make them and sale.
Mr. Emma Lomongin, an officer from GIZ Karamoja office said since last year to date a total of 7,000 women and their families are using energy-saving stoves.
Mr. Lomongin observed that although there some people still cutting down trees but it’s not massively as it used to be in the past years.
“At the beginning, it was quite difficult because women didn’t understand how to use it and others thought it will delay food from getting ready but when they were taught they have liked it,” he said.
The energy-saving stove is a stove made through a mixture of grass and mud and it takes only three small pieces of sticks to cook food, they also have advantages for the users because it cooks faster because they produce and conserve more heat than the traditional method and remain hot for a long time.
Mrs. Mary Angolere from the Iriiri sub-county in Napak district one of the women using energy-saving stoves said she has liked cooking with energy-saving stoves because it doesn’t give a burden of looking for much firewood.
She said before she learnt on how to use energy-saving stoves she was collecting firewood every week but now she’s no longer collecting firewood in the bush.
“If I want to cook, I move around within my compound and look for two sticks and prepare my meals and am also making them and sale,” she said.