By Dauda Musa Bangura: Owl Press

Cognizant of the ecological and health risks posed by ongoing deforestation inflicted on the Freetown Peninsula for mostly cooking energy and human settlement purposes, GIZ Energizing Development Programe (EnDev) on Thursday 20th May 2021 convened in Freetown a Stakeholder’s Dialogue on Deforestation of the Freetown Peninsular and Clean Cooking Solution for Sierra Leone. 

During the meeting, Mr. Hans Werner Gress (the Lead Consultant) made a presentation on finds of ongoing deforestation of especially the Freetown Peninsular Forest cover.

His presentation highlighted the status of cooking energy in Sierra Leone, and underpinned the status of environemental protection and loss; while underscoring the marco-economic implications together with the loss of other natural resources and Capital Assets. He concluded on the parameter for alternative cooking solutions. 

It was revealed that according to the 2018 Sierra Leone Integrated Household Survey (SLIHS), access to energy for household cooking is disaggregated along five energy sources mostly used by the population.

Firewood is estimated at about 72%; over 27% use charcoal; about 0.2% use Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG); almost 0.1% use animal waste; and with about 0.99% that have access to clean fuel and technologies for cooking.

This report suggests that energy consumption in Sierra Leone is dominated by biomass with over 99% of households cook with fuel-wood or charcoal. The SLIHS indicates that charcoal consumption increased from 20% in 2011 to 28% in 2018.

The Stakeholders’ Dialogue commenced with a welcome statement from GIZ Country Director Mr. Christian Widmann. Representatives from the Ministry of the Environment (MoEnv.); Ministry of Energy (MoE); Environement Protection Agency (EPA); Mano River Union (MRU-Secretariat); Renewable Energy Association of Sierra Leone (REASL); the European Union (EU); and Freetown City County (FCC) made remarks.

The Key Note Address was delivered by EnDeV Regional Director (Mr. Hans-Hartlieb Euler). The meeting was facilitated by the Institute of Leadership, Environement and Leadrship (i.e. ILEM Consultancy Firm). Also in attendance were representatives from Afri-Gas; GUMA Valley Water Company; Africa-Wide; FLS; GTI; USAID; AVSI; Fourah Bay College; Tacugama; TENN and Parliamentarians of Contiuencies 109 and 110. Participants made susbtantive contributions. Their inputs will be considered in shaping actional policy and legislative framework on deforestation and formulation of a Clean Cooking Strategy for Sierra Leone.

This initiative pioneered by GIZ EnDev started with the estblishement of a Techncial Working Group in 2020 as part of its manadate supporting access to modern, lasting, and affordable energy services to households, social enterprises and SMEs in 25 developing countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

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