KIGALI – Rwanda has begun a campaign to reduce the use of firewood for cooking while promoting other technologies such as gas and energy saving stoves to limit deforestation.
Minister of Land and forestry Francine Tumushime announced the above at a stakeholders meeting in the capital city of Kigali.
She decried the fact that forests in the east African country are being harvested before maturity largely for cooking purposes.
According to the ministry, 83 per cent of Rwandans use firewood for cooking currently, against less than 20 per cent using other cooking technologies such as biogas, gas and energy saving stoves. The minister said there is need to reduce the use of woods to save trees harvested before maturity for cooking purposes.
“We are going to put more effort in creating more cooking technologies which use less combustible, like improved stoves, including making gas available to people depending on their means,” she said.
The campaign will involve planting more trees which will be catered for to ensure they mature before being felled. Rwanda will next month launch national forest planting season 2017/2018, in which more than 45,000 hectares of agro forests will be planted especially in eastern Rwanda.
According to the ministry, the current country forests cover stands at 704,997 hectares, equivalent to 29.6 per cent, of which planted forests constitute 17.7 per cent and 11.9 percent are natural forests.