By Jonathan Ugbal
The fight against deforestation took a new turn recently as a non-governmental organization, Justice Development and Peace (JDP) Caritas distributed a total of 31,350 energy saving stoves to 19 communities in Cross River State.
“The objective of the project is for the conservation of the area, as many people use firewood to cook. We can’t stop them from using firewood, but we want them to reduce the use,” said the Lead, JDP Caritas, William Itorok.
“The energy saving stove uses very little fire wood because it was built to conserve energy. Across the communities, we have distributed 1,650 each and we have spent about NGN6.8 million for the project. We are not stopping, we are going to look at more innovative ideas to conserve the forest.”
The Guardian reports that the NGO which is backed by the Roman Catholic church said communities located in the Oban corridors of the National park benefitted from the project.
The Director, JDP Caritas, Reverend Father Michael Bekomson while at the last of the 19 communities, Oban, said the church is not just interested in preaching the Gospel alone as the public needs to understand the principles of conservation.
“Over the years, we have come to realize that burning and smoke is depleting the ozone layer, the church is not just interested in preaching the gospel but ensuring that the public embrace the message to help conserve our environment,” Bekomson said, adding that;“What we are doing will go a long way to help deforestation. We actually began from Ekang and now Oban, which is the last of the 19 communities.”
The head of the Oban community, Ntufam Steven Mbe, commended JDP Caritas gesture and said: “They have fulfilled their promise and I think our women will make good use of it because they have been trained on how to use the energy saving stoves.”