Rwanda Energy Group (REG), in partnership with its stakeholders, is carrying out a countrywide awareness campaign on the use of safe, effective and clean cooking technologies to ensure that Rwanda meets its targets to reduce the use of biomass energies to cook in households.
Extensive use of biomass energy has potentially serious environmental implications and may be non-renewable unless properly managed. In this regard it is imperative that forests and woodlots be more productively managed, and charcoal more efficiently produced. Failure in this realm could result in accelerated deforestation as the demand for energy due to the increasing population increases.
The energy policy proposes more efficient production and use of biomass energy by households and that this should be complemented by promoting other sources of energy, including biogas, pellets, briquettes and LPG.
The use of improved cook stoves that are up to three times more efficient than the traditional 3-stone stove and can reduce biomass consumption by anywhere between 68-94%. This will free up the time spent by women and children in collecting firewood, giving them more time to study and undertake more productive commercial activities
Currently, around 80 per cent of Rwandans still use firewood for cooking but, by 2024, Rwanda is targeting to have reduced the figure to 42 per cent.
According to Eng. Oreste Niyonsaba, the Manager of Social Energies, the number of people who use modern stoves is still low which threatens environment conservation.
“In order to ensure the protection of the environment, we are encouraging the public to embrace the use of modern cooking gas and stoves,” Niyonsaba said.
He noted that if the public continues to cut trees for firewood, the country risks desertification and that’s why the public should be aware of the consequences and embrace the safe cooking system.
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