In an effort to combat coastal erosion in Grand Cape Mount County and reduce the amount of wood residents cut from nearby mangrove swamps, UNDP Liberia has dedicated 10 new eco-friendly ovens for use by residents of Latia and Tala Towns, respectively Tuesday.
The eco-friendly ovens project is part of the Enhancing Resilience of Vulnerable Coastal Areas to Climate Change Risks in Liberia (Coastal Project for short), aimed at helping coastal communities in Grand Cape Mount, Monsterrado and Grand Bassa Counties develop defensive mechanism against the effects of climate change, a UNDP release has said.
According to the release, the ovens were provided after successful pilot projects in neighboring communities, which demonstrated the value to local communities.
“These ovens will not only help the environment by reducing the need for wood to fuel the drying process, but they will also enable women to dry more fish and earn more income,” Kamil Kamalludeen, the Country Director of UNDP Liberia explained during the dedication ceremony in Latia.
She added: “The women in these communities rely on drying fish to supplement their family income.”
According to the release, Siafa Sombai the spokesperson for Sembehum Village which received 10 ovens last year, explained that smoking the fish over an open charcoal flame used to require 30-40 bundles of mangrove wood each day. But with the eco-friendly ovens the villagers can smoke the same number of fish with only five bundles of wood.
The greater fuel efficiency help preserve the mangrove swamps which both protect against erosion and provide carbon sequestration, which helps the global environment, the release noted.
The Coastal Project is funded with a $2.9 million grant from the Global Environment Fund/Least Developed Countries Fund. UNDP is providing a further $400,000 to the fund to combat coastal erosion, as well as improve economic development with eco-friendly ovens and solar panels.