Enugu residents turn to charcoal stove as kerosene price soars

Some Enugu residents have jettisoned their kerosene stoves, opting for charcoal stoves instead due to the high cost of kerosene which currently sells for between N1,350 and N1,600 per litre.

A market survey on charcoal on Tuesday in Enugu, revealedthat many people now prefer charcoal for cooking due to its affordable price.

A charcoal seller in Garki Market, Grace Umeh, said that although the price of charcoal had risen from N5, 000 to N8,000 per sack; the patronage had continued to soar.

Umeh said the increase in patronage was because an average family of five could use up to 20 litres of kerosene in a month for their cooking.

“So, the family spends over N20, 000 on kerosene in a month.

“On the other hand, a bag of charcoal will last for two months, no matter the pressure of use, for the same size of family,’’ she said.

Another seller at Mayor Market, ObyOkafor, said that most families were buying the commodity in large quantities due to the high cost of kerosene and other energy sources.

“We have continued to experience good and profitable business for some time now in this charcoal business,” Okafor said.

Mrs Christiana Ozor, a charcoal dealer at Achara Layout, said that due to increase in patronage, she now sells more than two bags a day.

Some buyers said that using the charcoal for cooking had saved them a lot of money.

Mr Gilbert Nnamdi, a father of four, said the new charcoal stove introduced to him by his friend had helped him to reduce the amount he spent on kerosene.

“With only N200 charcoal my wife can cook a pot of soup and a pot of rice for the family no matter the quantity of the food.

“This new charcoal stove does not take time to catch fire and does not bring out smoke while cooking with it,” he said.

Another charcoal user, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that she had been using charcoal since the increase in the price of kerosene.

“I stopped using kerosene when the price increased to N900 and because I am afraid of using cooking gas, I quickly opted for charcoal as a means of energy cooking source,” she said.

Food vendors are not left out in the rush for charcoal because they can no longer afford the prices of kerosene and cooking gas.

A restaurant owner, MsIjeoma Dim, explained that the high costs of kerosene and cooking gas had given charcoal a sudden prominence.

MrOforAnyawu, added that charcoal sellers now made brisk business due to the price increase of other cooking energy sources.

Anyawu called on the government to make all cooking energy sources affordable and available for the masses, especially in the face of economic challenges in the country.

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