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Hardship in Chad's capital since charcoal and green wood ban

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:30 pm    Post subject: Hardship in Chad's capital since charcoal and green wood ban Reply with quote

N'DJAMENA (AFP) - Chad: ban firewood, N'Djamena walk over burning coals

The rising discontent in N'Djamena where the authorities have prohibited without the concerted use of coal and wood green to fight against deforestation. A measure that severely affects the less privileged classes and creates a situation of scarcity.

"It's too brutal! You can not change your habits overnight," says Brigitte AFP Topinanty Dionadji, consultant to the Ministries of Social Action and the Agriculture. "We must fight against desertification, but there have been awareness campaigns, a transition ... It is a serious social problem. They are the poorest people who are affected."

In December, for example, authorities have ordered the burning vehicles transporting coal. Walia A, at the southern entrance of N'Djamena, the carcasses of four mini-buses are still visible. Security forces still control the route of entry of the capital.

"Since January, no one would try to go with coal. In the beginning, were arrested many people," said the officer Djidi Toulaye.

Prohibition of entry for coal and "green wood", but "wood" is allowed. Hassan Toufdy in a pickup truck loaded to the brim of wood collected 90 km from N'Djamena, says that its cargo bought at 50,000 CFA francs (76 euros) will be sold three times more expensive.

How to control the dead wood is not green wood cut and dried? No response. The situation is somewhat farcical. Near the checkpoint in Chagwa where coal once sold, the sale of the same wood is completely dry and the market has been burned.

Since then, some sixty merchants expect a "solution", like Abderraman Gassra: "We lost about 60 million CFA francs (10,000 euros) in stocks," we have more work, more than what live ".

For Hissène Mahamat, Minister of Communication, he had to take emergency measures.

"N'Djamena and the surrounding area are transformed into desert. We must save the forests. I planted eucalyptus Walia in the 1970s, today it is nude. N'Djamema to Massaguet From (80 km) there's nothing. "

"1.5 million people live in N'Djamena. All these people have the habit of eating while consuming a lot of coal," says the minister, adding that the Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno urged Chadians to efforts during the last rainy season (July-August), in vain until December, forcing the authorities to "strike his fist on the table.

To support the ban, the government subsidizes the use "of gas cylinders 3 and 6 kg at 50%," he says.

Gas back today between 30% and 50% less wood or coal, but the "low income can not afford," says Brigitte Topinanty Dionadji. They "bought small pile of 50 or 100 FCFA coal for every meal. They live from day to day. How would you like to pay to bail out a bottle and gas for several days".

The shortage of wood, in addition, caused the gas. The market was not ready to receive such a request. Long queues formed at the outlets.
"I sell 400 bottles a day but I could sell 1000 if I did," says Mahamat Malik dealer.

Hissène provides: "We are aware of these problems. We signed a contract with a Nigerian importer to increase supply. It resolves problems gradually. But the ban of coal is inevitable, otherwise it will be the desert ".
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Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Posts: 74
Location: northern Idaho

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like the capitol of Chad needs some of those trained African constructors and trainers from the camps in Chad to come to town and show people how to cook without all that wood and charcoal mess and fuss.

If people are struggling to afford gas to cook with and do not yet have solar cookers, they should go here: There are simple things that can be done to make gas cooking much more efficient, so fuel lasts much longer.

Retained heat cooking can be combined with gas cooking for further economy. For information on retained heat cooking, people can go here:

I wonder if Ms. Dionadji has even this much information that could help people, since her concern seems genuine and well-warranted. I have no idea how to contact a government official or consultant in Chad, but if she doesn't already have a solid knowledge of these simple ways to help people adapt, I am sure she would want to know. It boggles the mind that penny-poor folks should be subjected to this kind of hardship and upheaval when such simple, effective solutions exist, all of which could have been laid in place before the change. I would be happy to correspond with Ms. Dionadji about these easy, accessible ideas and technologies, if I knew how to reach her.

Thanks for posting this, Tom.

Idaho Regional Representative, International Women's Writing Guild
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