Deacon Isaac Ojok
Gulu Archdiocese in Northern Uganda has initiated a plan to supply modern cookstoves to the people with the vision to protect environment from the harmful effects of pollution from smoke.
About six thousand cookstoves that use ethanol are going to be supplied to local farmers under their Cassava Commercialization and Industrialization project to ensure healthy environment.
Rev Fr Matthew Okun Lagoro, Coordinator of Cassava Commercialization and Industrialization project disclosed that the modern cookstoves which are being imported from India will be distributed to farmers also to ensure that health hazards are reduced among the population especially women.
In an exclusive interview on Thursday afternoon, Fr Okun further revealed that the initiative will reduce the demand and need to cut down trees for cooking and charcoal burning among the local communities in Northern Uganda.
He went on to say that the move to supply modern cookstoves to farmers is timely for people to embrace in order to save the environment according to the teaching of Pope Francis in his Encyclical Letter Laudato Si who emphasized the need to care for the earth, our common home.
According to Fr Matthew Okun Lagoro, the Archdiocese is holding very high-profile discussions with Government to see that the cookstoves are manufactured here in Northern Uganda.
He said the development will also provide labour and employment opportunities to the population in Northern Uganda
He continued that the modern cookstoves to be supplied to famers will be sold at a fee ranging from 200,000 -300,000 Uganda Shillings only (approximately US 85 dollars.
Fr. Okun also informed our reporter in an interview that they are presently linking and engaging other strategic development partners to ensure that the success of the program is registered with the view to empower local farmers economically through other programs.
He implored stakeholders in the region to mobilize people to embrace other development-oriented programs so as to raise awareness on the moral, spiritual and the physical wellbeing of the people.
Fr. Okun noted that working with the Ministries of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries-MAAIF, Micro Finance Support Center Uganda, Ministry of trade, Industry and Cooperative, including other agencies like Uganda Development Cooperation among others the Archdiocese is encouraging the youths to embrace other programs that can enable them generate house hold income to fight household poverty, improve their livelihoods and food security.