Makamba advocates for renewables to protect health, environment

ENERGY Minister January Makamba has reiterated a call upon the members of the public to opt using renewables for cooking to save environment and their health.

Speaking virtually when officially opened the seminar for women parliamentarians, Mr Makamba recalled some worrisome statistics on the danger of using charcoal or firewood as source of cooking energy.

It is estimated that 33,000 people die every year due to the effects of smoke from firewood and charcoal.

The number is even higher that those die from accidents of HIV/Aids.

Makamba noted that in every day many women who use charcoal and firewood for cooking are inhaling poisonous smokes that affect their health and kill them slowly.

“If you do medical examination on a villager today, you would find out that their lungs are affected the same as those of smokers,” he cited.

Makamba argued that the use of firewood and charcoal may even cause miscarriages; however, he said the issue is not well understood in the community; hence he challenged the Parliamentarians to add more voice on the matter in creating awareness.

Mr Makamba assured that the government has been making several efforts to ensure that safe energy for cooking is easily available so that the rural people can use it.

Also, Makamba said the government was still considering improving the energy policy so that people could be assured of access to safe energy for cooking.

On his part, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Mussa Zungu said such a seminar should be a catalyst for lawmakers to raise their voices in the community to help rural women avoiding using unsafe energy for cooking.

Mr Zungu told the MPs to raise their voices to increase the use of safe energy so as to combat diseases and even death caused by smokes from charcoal and firewood.

Rural Energy Agency (REA) Director Hassan Said noted that 90 per cent of the rural dwellers use charcoal and firewood, while the biggest challenge is the availability of cooking gas.

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