HomeFeaturesKerosene Price Hike: Enugu Residents Turn To Charcoal Stoves

Kerosene Price Hike: Enugu Residents Turn To Charcoal Stoves

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According to a local resident, they ceased using kerosene as their primary cooking fuel when the cost skyrocketed to N900, and, driven by apprehension regarding the use of cooking gas, they promptly switched to charcoal as a safer alternative energy source for culinary purposes.

In Enugu, a growing number of residents are trading in their kerosene stoves for charcoal-fueled alternatives, driven by the soaring cost of kerosene, which now fetches a hefty $3 to $4 per liter.

In a telling sign of the times, our correspondent discovered during a market visit in Enugu on Tuesday that charcoal has emerged as the go-to cooking fuel for many, thanks to its wallet-friendly price tag.

Grace Umeh, a charcoal seller at Garki Market, observed that while the price of her product has jumped from $12 to $20 per sack, customer interest remains strong, with sales continuing to climb.

Umeh attributed the increased interest in charcoal to the significant amount of kerosene consumed by families – up to 20 liters monthly for a household of five – which has led many to seek a more cost-effective solution.

“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 family size,” she said.

A charcoal seller at Mayor Market, Oby Okafor, said that most families were buying the commodity in large quantities because of 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,” Ms Okafor said.

Christiana Ozor, a charcoal dealer at Achara Layout, said that because of the increase in patronage, she now sells over two bags daily.

Some residents said that using charcoal for cooking saves them a lot of money.

Read also: Kerosene Explosion: Women Inflicted With Serious Burns In Ebonyi

Gilbert Nnamdi, a father of four, said a new charcoal stove introduced to him by his friend 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,” he said.

A reluctant kerosene user, who requested anonymity, confessed that the steep price hike prompted her to explore alternative cooking options, leading her to embrace charcoal as a reliable substitute.

“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 an energy cooking source,” she said.

Enugu’s food vendors are the latest to jump on the charcoal bandwagon, as the prohibitive costs of kerosene and cooking gas have priced them out of the market, forcing a switch to this more affordable fuel source.

According to Ijeoma Dim, proprietor of a local eatery, the exorbitant costs of kerosene and cooking gas have thrust charcoal into the spotlight, making it an attractive alternative for restaurateurs like herself.

The Eastern Updates 

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