A cross-section of women in Calabar, Cross River State capital has disclosed that they were returning to the use of firewood and charcoal for cooking despite the hazardous effects on their health.
The women who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in interviews within the week said the cost of Liquified Petroleum Gas, (LPG) popularly known as cooking gas and kerosene has become unbearable for them.
Mrs Joan Akiba, a trader said she started using cooking gas for her cooking some years ago after she was diagnosed with an eye defect caused by smoke from firewood and charcoal.
According to Akiba, she had been managing since then to cook with gas but presently, she was giving up due to the gradual increase in the price of the product
“As of today one kilogramme of gas is sold for over N1,200 in Calabar, this is unbearable.
“I decided to move over to kerosene but it was no better because it is hardly available and when it is, it goes for as high as between N800 to N1,000 per litre.
“Our income has not increased but the cost of basic items like gas is so high, so, I have no other option other than firewood and charcoal despite the effects on my eyes and lungs,” she said.
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Mrs Peace Ada, a food vendor said she stopped using firewood when she noticed that apart from the effects on her health everywhere around her business premises was black from smoke.
She said she was encouraged to start using gas and it was good but she may not be able to continue following the increase in the cost.
“If we must survive we have to go back to firewood, gas is too expensive today,” she said.
On her part, a visibly angry Miss Philomena Etuk said the increase in the price was deliberate to take everything away from the masses and entrench suffering.
Etuk said it was surprising that in the face of such hardship in the nation, Nigerians still smile and exchange pleasantries.
According to her, diesel, petrol, kerosene and now cooking gas have all gone out of the reach of the common man yet the leaders are living large and driving big cars.
When NAN visited an LPG dealer, Mr Johnson Odok, in the Atimbo area of Calabar to enquire about the cost of the product, he said they were presently selling the product for N1,150 per kilogramme but that would increase immediately after new stock arrived.
On why the increase in the price of LPG, Odok said it was simply a foreign exchange matter adding that the high cost of dollars was affecting the product.