By Ekemini Simon
Ibeno Communities of Iwokpom and Okorutip have resolved to embrace fuel efficient stoves in their bid to conserve their oil and gas community and promote climate justice through sustainable environmental practices.
The people of Iwokpom and Okorutip communities made their stance known when Peace Point Development Foundation(PPDF), a non governmental organisation (NGO), working on peace building, good governance, environmental justice, and human right held a town hall meeting/ Community Mobilization program on Friday, February 18, 2022 in Ibeno.
Peace Point Development Foundation(PPDF), with support from the ETF had sensitized the people of the communities on the benefits of using a fuel efficient stove.
Community members said they were ready to avail themselves for training that would be offered by PPDF on how to use fuel efficient stoves.
They thanked PPDF for the creativity and choice of their area for the project stressing that their environment is in need for projects that would sustain their environment.
According to the Youth Leader of the area, Godsend Ukpe, ” You all have seen how terribly our environment has been polluted by gas flaring. The trees which would have served as shades are cut off in their huge numbers and used as fuel for firewood. We do not have a choice since we would need the firewoods to dry out fishes and crayfish.
” However, we are happy that this project is coming to us through PPDF and it will help conserve the energy from the little firewood that we would be using. We are ready to support this project and work actively during the training so that our environment can be sustained”.
Earlier, the Coordinator of PPDF, Mr. Umoh Isua-Ikoh offered insight to the successes witnessed on the project in other places. He said PPFF was delighted to implement the project in Ibeno after observing that their environment is in need of the project.
He explained that the purpose of providing the energy saving stoves for the communities was to reduce the use of fire wood and conserve the forest.
The Coordinator said the objective of the project is for the conservation of the area, as many people use firewood to cook.
Isua-Ikoh noted that the Organisation’s intention is not to stop the community from using firewood, but to offer alternatives on why and how it can be reduced.
He added “ From our training at other places, we have affirmed that indeed the energy saving stove uses very little firewood because it was built to conserve energy.
” There is no gainsaying that over the years, flares and smoke from our use of fossil fuels and woods are depleting the ozone layer. This is dangerous for the future hence it is very important for all of us to embrace the fuel efficient fuel to help us conserve our environment.”
On her part, the Director of Climate Change Unit, Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, Ini Umoh thanked PPDF for the initiative. She called on the people of the area to take the project seriously as they will stand at the benefiting end.
The Environment Director assured of government’s support through policy making.