Training on energy efficient stoves manufacture can help create employment and reduce charcoal use in Somaliland
Sixty people have received training in Hargeisa to build energy efficient stoves this month under a programme run by Somaliland’s Ministry of Environment and Rural Development, in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It is aimed that the new skills will allow the trainees to earn an income from eventually producing and selling the finished stoves in the market place, which will also help to reduce the use and production of charcoal in Somaliland. The training is part of a Joint Program for Sustainable Charcoal Reduction and Alternative Livelihoods (PROSCAL) which is led by the Somaliland Government and implemented by UNDP, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and UN Environment, with funding from the European Union, Italy and Sweden. Cutting trees for charcoal and firewood has led to large scale deforestation and ecosystem destruction across Somaliland, with communities in Somaliland relying on firewood and charcoal for cooking and heating. The new energy efficient cooking stoves will burn 50% less charcoal than traditional cooking stoves, which will help to reduce demand for charcoal in the long term. The training to manufacture the stoves is aligned to Somaliland’s National Development Plan II, which has set a target to reduce charcoal production from indigenous species by 35% by 2021. Initially, with funding from the project, the stoves will be distributed free of charge to IDP and low-income communities, and vendors will be supported to move away from selling traditional stoves to the new energy efficient stove, to build a market for the product. The Minister of Environment for Somaliland, Ms. Shukri Haji Ismail Bandare, speaking at the opening day of the training, thanked UNDP, the European Union, Italy and Sweden for their support to the PROSCAL programme and underscored the opportunities the manufacture of the stoves will bring to the community. “The manufacture of these energy efficient cooking stoves will bring employment for you and also long-term job opportunities by ensuring that you can teach and pass on these skills to others”, she said. The Head of the United Nations Development Programme Area Office in Hargeisa, Ilaria Carpen, also highlighted the importance of the training in creating employment for the community and in building alternatives to charcoals use. “UNDP is very pleased to support this training, but we are looking forward to your role as trainees in bringing about change in your community. It will be an achievement if we can help reduce charcoal production and use though training programmes such as this one,” she said. The Joint Program for Sustainable Charcoal Reduction and Alternative Livelihoods (PROSCAL) program works to achieve the priorities of Somaliland’s National Development Plan II , and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG12 (responsible consumption and production) and SDG15 (life on land).