Enugu Residents Embrace Charcoal As Prices Of Gas, Kerosene Skyrocket

Residents of Enugu say they have resorted to charcoal for domestic use as prices of kerosene and gas go beyond their reach.

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According to those who spoke to THE WHISTLER on Friday, the present realities in the country make it impossible for them to cope with the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities.

Patience Ozonna, a resident of Trans-Ekuku, told our correspodent that she last bought gas two months ago. In her words, “We can’t afford it anymore. I earn N36, 000 monthly as a junior civil servant. Before, I used N8, 000 to fill my gas cylinder. But today, it is over N12, 000. How can I cope? I am a widow, and my children go to school.

“My neighbour roasting corn told me to try charcoal. I bought a bag at N4, 000, and bought the charcoal stove at N1, 200. They serve me for over a month.”

Another charcoal user, Ifeoma Ozioko, said, “I dumped my gas cylinder since July. I buy bags of charcoal and I get the same result. Good charcoal does not smoke. It doesn’t make the pots dirty. Our leaders have not told us where we are going.”

A charcoal dealer, Moses Odo, told our correspodent that, “The business is doing well. We buy from Uzo-Uwani, then move them to Enugu where we sell them. It is a good business, just that at times, the vehicle carrying the bags fall due to bad roads.”

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Another dealer, Onyeka Omeje, told our correspodent that charcoal is becoming scarce because the trees used for their production are going into extinction.

“Before, you get echikara trees everywhere, but they are all gone. People fell them and burn them. We now move inside bushes to get them. Some use other woods, and that is why some charcoal smokes.”

A welder based at 9th Mile, Enugu, Cajetan Arua, said, “The demand for charcoal stoves is increasing. Some people bring tyre wheels for us to construct charcoal stoves for them. Those ones are very good. Others ask us to construct for them. That one is about N1300 per one.”

THE WHISTLER reports that a litre of kerosene sells around N1, 000 in markets.

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