Nigeria: Women Raise Alarm As Firewood, Charcoal Scarcity Hits Abuja

Women in Bwari Area Council of the FCT have complained about the rise in the cost of firewood and charcoal, attributing it to the hike in the price of cooking gas.

The women, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in different communities of the council, said the demand for firewood and charcoal had increased, so also their prices.

Mrs Phoebe Ishaku, a resident of Piyawe community and a mother of four, said she now used firewood and sometimes charcoal to cook because of the hike in the prices of kerosene and gas.

She said, “We had women who sold firewood for as low as N100 for a few pieces at the beginning of 2022, but now you can only get four tiny pieces for N200.

“Earlier in 2022, I bought a bag of charcoal for N2,500, but now that same bag is N3,800.

“This is because most people have resorted to cooking with these products as alternative to gas and kerosene since both products have become expensive.”

Similarly, Mrs Auta Bature, a wife and mother of five in Sabon-Gari area of the council, said she initially used kerosene to cook but that she could not afford it any longer because of the cost.

According to her, a litre of kerosene now sells for N900 and that she needs up to five litres to cook for her large family.

She said, “This will not even take us up to two weeks because the kerosene they sell these days easily evaporates.”

“So buying a bag of charcoal and gathering firewood while returning from the farm has been a bit more effective for us.”

Mrs Hannah Dangana, a supplier of charcoal in the area, told NAN that the situation was not different in most households in the community.

She said most Nigerians were turning to the use of firewood and charcoal due to the hike in the price of cooking gas.

Mrs Dangana, however, noted that some women might suffer the health implications of cooking with firewood, but added that the old tradition remained the cheapest means of cooking for them.

She further said, “There was a time government and some NGOs tried to encourage the use of cooking gas and discourage local cooking fuels because of the health implications and deforestation- related issues.

“Now, the situation is further made worse by the recent scarcity and soaring prices of cooking gas and kerosene which has pushed many households back to the forest in search of firewood and use of charcoal.

“Even those of us who supply have our challenges; bringing them down here to sell, because we spend so much on transportation and levies.

“Although this is a profitable business for me, I however urge government to bring down the prices of cooking fuels so that Nigerians can at least enjoy something.” (NAN)

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