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Residents Resort To Firewood Over Soaring Kerosene Prices

By Nneka Nwogwugwu 

Firewood usage for cooking has become some residents’ last resort as the price of kerosene has increased and scarcity looms in Rivers State.

This was disclosed on Tuesday in Port Harcourt at a trans-disciplinary meeting organized by the ARUA Centre of Excellence for urbanization and Habitable cities, the University of Lagos, and the Urban Health and Liveability cluster in collaboration with the Centre for Development Support Initiatives.

A representative from the Rivers State Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Engr. Isobe George, who made this observation, said that most people in some communities are unable to buy kerosene because of the high cost.

He noted that for some years petrol stations in Rivers state have not been selling kerosene, hence, residents rely on the kerosene products from illegal refineries also known as “kpo fire products.”

NatureNews observed that presently, the recent raid of oil bunkers by the state governor to reduce soot pollution in Rivers state has halted the activities of these bunkers, thereby making the “kpo fire” kerosene now scarce for the vulnerable to use.

George, also noted that the residents resort to firewood, which is now increasing deforestation activities in the state, thereby contributing to climate change.

He called on the Federal Government to put the refineries in the country into a working one.

The country director of the Centre for Development Support Initiatives (CEDSI), Dr. Mina Ogbanga also informed that the high point of the meeting is to achieve zero tolerance for soot.

She noted that in Rivers state, Civil Society organizations are currently working towards achieving legislative measures to end soot such as enacting the Rivers State soot law, Rivers State climate change law, and Rivers State Gender and climate change Act.

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