A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Shea Integrated Global Foundation (SIGF) has distributed gas cylinders and burners to 200 women in Arikya community of Lafia Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
Speaking at the event at Arikya, Mrs. Priscilla Akpason-Nwosu, Programme Manager of SIGF, said the gesture was aimed at providing alternative source of energy thereby reducing the use of firewood.
The Programme Manager who was represented by Mr. Collins Nwosu, member Board of Trustee of the NGO, said the beneficiaries where trained by the Fire Service on how to use the gas cylinders in order to avoid disaster.
“We have trained the beneficiaries on safety procedures for proper usage of the gas cylinders given to them in order to avert fire outbreak.
“We also mobilised and sensitised them on the dangers of cutting trees, through the project we are executing in the area,” she added.
Nwosu also stated that 10 youths were indirectly trained on conservation activities in trees enumeration exercise and encouraged the community to plant more trees.
She further said that 500 women were also trained on Shea value-chain to boost their livelihood and the economy of the State.
She explained that the project is funded via the Global Environment Facility and Small Grants Programme (GEF/SGP) which is being administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
She added that the organisation was aimed at conserving at least 1,000 hectares of wild parkland in Arikya community, thus creating a sustainable model for environmental conservation.
“This is a 12- month project designed to be concluded by October 2023.
“The entry point for this project being the leverage and commercialisation of economic nature of the trees and natural habitat without physically altering the nature, look and balance of the areas of operation.
“We looked to Shea as the base crop and women as the access point to households and communities; hence the name of the project ‘She(a) Matters’,” she said.
She appreciated the community for donating 1,600 hectares of land for the conservation of trees and charged them to do more in order to protect their environment.
In his remarks, representative of the community, Madakin-Arikya, Mr Ibrahim Ali, appreciated the organisation for training and providing the beneficiaries with gas cylinders and burners to enable them to conserve the trees in their locality.
“Today is my day and I am very happy that this organisation has successfully trained our women and distributed gas cylinders and burners to them.
“I will ensure that the items given are used judiciously,” he said.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to the newsmen, Mrs Hauwa Hamidu and Hasiya Isa, thanked the organisers for the training and assisting them with items that would help in conservation of the environment.
The duo promised to make judicious use of gas cylinders and burners and would desist from using firewood in order to protect the environment.