By Veronica Dariya
Some residents of Bwari Area Council of the FCT on Monday said they stopped using kerosene as alternative means of cooking because of its persistent high cost.
The residents, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said health hazard was also a major setback to the use of kerosene.
Miss Hannatu Baya, a student, said that kerosene was too expensive and out of the reach of ordinary Nigerians, adding that most times, the product was unavailable for people to buy.
According to her, struggling to get the product made her search for alternative means of cooking.
She said: ” I have a 5kg gas cylinder that takes me almost a month before refilling, and this is because I alternate with an electric cooker once there’s power, it is better for me than a kerosene stove.”
Baya also said that using the product became outdated to her at some point because of the availability of other alternate means.
Madam Charity Okonkwo, who sells charcoal and firewood told NAN correspondent that she once sold kerosene but stopped after the product became too expensive.
” We used to go and queue at the filling station for days before the product was made available.
”When it will finally come, we will fight; it was a struggle, yet, we will buy it at a high cost to sell at a higher cost too.
“After a while, people started to use charcoal, which does not need much kerosene to light up, so the demand for the product from my customers dropped.
“That was how I changed to selling charcoal and firewood and the patronage has been better,” she said.
Okonkwo added that although, both firewood and charcoal were not as cheap as they used to be in the past, it remained an option to some residents in the local communities who cannot afford cooking gas or kerosene.
She also said that kerosene presently costs about N1,180 per litre at the filling stations and is being sold by retailers in the community from N1, 250 to N1,500 per litre.
Mrs Grace Ishaya, a housewife and mother of five, said that she stopped cooking with kerosene for over four years after one of her children accidentally inhaled the emissions from the cooking stove while sleeping.
“I don’t know if the kerosene was adulterated with something else, but the flames brought out so much black smoke that filled the kitchen and extended into other parts of the house.
“I tried to regulate it but to no avail, until one of my children ran to tell me that they had been trying to wake their brother who was sleeping, to play football, but he was not responding.
“My neighbors heard the chaos and came to help and one of them took us to the general hospital where they confirmed that my son had inhaled so much smoke in his system.
“We thank God because at the end of the day, he was resuscitated.
“Since then, I prefer to use cooking gas and charcoal, even though they both are expensive, we manage to buy according to our means,” Ishaya said.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Bashir Rabe Mani