October 6, 2017 BY Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
Country Representative of the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO ), Nyabenyi Tipo, has on Wednesday 4th October, 2017, disclosed that they would donate one thousand (1,000) wonder stove to the Office of National Security (ONS) for victims of the August 14th Mudslides and flood disaster in the country .
The UN diplomat disclosed that they have five hundred readily available, whilst the second phase of five hundred will be donated at a later time to the Office of National Security.
“The stoves were purchased for 55,000 Leones each, totaling 55 million Leones,” she said.
The FAO representative said they decided to donate the stove to reduce the amount of charcoal used for cooking, which she said would help decrease the amount of deforestation, stating that the Organisation did an assessment of cooking methods in and around the temporary shelters that were set up to house mudslides and flood affected people and discovered that most were using charcoal for cooking.
“More than 90% of Sierra Leoneans used charcoal as they don’t use gas. So, a sure way of reducing the amount of charcoal use is to give out an improved stove,” she said, adding that it is estimated that the forest in Sierra Leone, especially around Freetown, has been reduced by up to 60% due to use of charcoal and wood cutting .
“We need to start creating awareness on how to use the forest and how it can be sustained. One way by which the forest can be preserved is by minimizing the use of charcoal.”
Receiving the donation on behalf of the National Security Coordinator (NSC), Director of Disaster Management at ONS, John Rogers, expressed thanks and appreciation to FAO for the kind move.
“On behalf of the National Security coordinator, this donation is considered as a red letter day against backdrop of the fact that taking a look at the response across the board, this is the first significant delivery that deals directly with the environment,” he said.
Mr. Rogers said the destruction of the environment is as a result of deforestation, as some areas have almost decertified, which was why he considered the FAO‘s step as the right one towards addressing most of the challenges with respect to the environment.
The ONS disaster Management boss said the stove itself is symbolic due to the advantages of conserving the environment ,as it is eco -friendly ,saying the message that would be associated with it will go a long way to teach other people, who otherwise, would have intended to engage themselves in deforestation.
“We would follow up the distribution pattern, as we will make sure that first 500 of the wonder stove, having distributed those ones, we will get back to you of what have been done so far with respect to the beneficiaries,” he said, adding that they would distribute the wonder stove after doing the re-verification process.