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‘We can’t afford gas’ – Adamawa rural residents, recipients of FG’s cylinders lament

Rural women who received gas cylinders from the Federal Government are complaining that cooking with gas is a luxury they find impracticable.

The Federal Government gave out the cylinders to encourage the women to shift from cooking with firewood to gas, but the recipients say they cannot afford gas because the cost of getting to where they could buy gas is in many instances as high as the cost of the gas itself.

Most Adamawa communities are at least several scores of kilometres away from urban centres like Yola, Numan and Mubi where gas is obtainable.

Such rural communities which mostly use firewood and to which the gas cooking policy is directed are ironically the ones who do not find the policy feasible.

According to a report by SCOPE, a weekly tabloid owned by the Adamawa State Government, rural women who have had the ‘privilege’ of obtaining cylinders from the Federal Government now have cylinders that merely decorate their kitchens as there is no gas for them.

“Gas is not what we need here in the village,” said Mrs Rauta Akila, a resident of Rumde-Giwa in Mayo-Belwa Local Government Area of Adamawa State, according to SCOPE which quoted the housewife as adding that gas is scarce at the council headquarters, Mayo-Belwa town, meaning that gas users would need to travel further to Yola to get gas.

Speaking of the cost implication, Mrs Akila and others in the village who spoke in similar vein, said from Rumde-Giwa to Mayo-Belwa is N500 for transport and from Mayo-Belwa to Yola is N500, translating to N2,000 transport from the village to and from Yola.

“And we are not talking yet of what it will cost for the actual filling of the cylinder, which I hear is N2,000, giving you a total of N4,000 just to fill a cylinder with gas that may not last you up to a month,” a resident of the village, Mr Luminah Samuel reportedly said.

The story is the same in the communities where people spoke up, including Fufore, Girei, Guyuk, and far-flung communities in relatively urban Numan.

The villagers unanimously voted for a stove as the sort of alternative that the Federal Government should have thought of instead of gas cylinders, as kerosene is much more readily available than gas.

The Federal Government had, through Minister of Women Affairs Mrs Pauline Tallen, brought 21,000 cylinders to Adamawa State two weeks ago, which were distributed to 1,000 women in each of the 21 LGAs of the state.

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