Damaturu - The Yobe Government says it may soon ban the sale of firewood in the state.
The state Commissioner for Environment, Malam Wakil Sarki, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Damaturu.
He also said the state has concluded plans to procure and distribute 8,500 bags of charcoal to all the 17 local government areas in the state.
Sarki said this would serve as an alternative to firewood for cooking.
The commissioner, who said the charcoal would be purchased in August, said the action was expected to control the indiscriminate cutting of trees by people.
He said that under the new arrangement, each local government would be given 500 bags of charcoal which would then be sold to the people at subsidised rates.
Sarki said that as part of the state’s afforestation programme, the government planned to employ 3,500 casual staff who would handle the planting and management of trees in the 17 local government areas.
The commissioner said that 30 staff would be designated to each local government.
He said the state government would soon enact a law to enforce the prohibition of indiscriminate cutting of trees and selling of firewood without permission in the state.
"More than 60 percent of our land is covered by desert. It is dangerous to be cutting trees for firewood purposes."
Sarki said that although kerosene was expensive and scarce, the ministry had discouraged the cutting of trees and usage of firewood in view of its negative ecological impact.
He appealed to the people of the state to support the new scheme.
In an interview with NAN, Malam Usman Abubakar, a firewood seller in Gashua market said: "I pray this system would work, because you get charcoal from wood; it’s difficult to make people to accept it."
Hajia Amina Aji, a housewife in Jakusko town, said: "We are ready to cook with charcoal only if we cannot get firewood to buy."
"Therefore government should ban the trading of firewood from neighbouring states if it wants this to be accepted."