Somaliland: Use of Kerosene Stoves on the Rise


By: M.A.Egge

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The use of gas cookers and kerosene stoves as an alternative for charcoal is on the upward trend as a result of exorbitant price of charcoal in Hargeisa city where a sack of charcoal is selling for about 80,000-100,000sl/sh Somaliland shillings equivalent to about $15-$20 dollars.

With Many Somaliland citizens earning less than a dollar a day this has caused many people to find an alternative for charcoal which simply has become too expensive for households to afford. A litre of kerosene costs 6000sl/sh in petrol station while at grocery shops it costs 7000sl/sh which is about one dollar.

This was revealed in a study by Dawan Media Group newspapers, DAWAN. The research team was led by journalist Mr. Idiris Muhummed. Members of the public interviewed during the study asked the government to subsidize the price of gas as an alternative to charcoal and kerosene. They went on to implore the government to import cheap gas as a substitute for kerosene and charcoal and cheap gas cookers such that ordinary man on the street could afford.

Mother Marian Ibrahim Ahmed from Ibrahim Koodbuur district of Hargeisa said that her family consists of 10 people and that recently switched to the use of kerosene stove because she could not afford charcoal. She said that kerosene stove was selling for US dollars 12 and most of the traders were selling in bulk for instance 24 pieces of the kerosene stove was selling for $10 dollars per piece. Mama Marian asked the government to reduce the price of gas so that poor households could afford it.

The use of charcoal has been a thorn in the flesh issue for a long time because Somaliland is a semi-arid country and cannot afford the deforestation caused by charcoal that has left almost no cover of indigenous trees.

As a result of lack of a substitute to charcoal, the government needs to come up with a clear policy to find alternative energy. For example solar energy is abundant in Somaliland and remained un-explored.