Stakeholders under the aegis of the Renewable Energy Association of The Gambia (REAGAM) recently introduced an energy efficient cooking stove called 'Furno Jambarr' during a three-day training workshop held at Abuko Metal Workshop in Serrekunda East, Kanifing Municipality.
The energy efficiency initiative seeks to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), improve the health status of women and children and eventually reduce the rapid rate of deforestation and land degradation. It also seeks to create job opportunities for metal skill workers and women potters in the piloted areas.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the vice chairman of REGAM and coordinator of the project, Alhaji B.C Gaye, disclosed that REAGAM received funding under the Global Energy Fund (GEF) Small Grants Programmed to implement the above mentioned project.
As part of efforts to achieve the set objectives, Gaye explained that the project will engage in the training, production and distribution of 2, 200 energy efficient cooking stoves of various prototypes. The activities of the project, he added, will be concentrated in the Greater Banjul Area and the West Coast Region.
The REGAM vice chair went further to disclose that in order to ensure that people get the energy efficient stoves in the targeted areas, they have plans to sell them at a subsidised prize to the general public.
He underscored that though the concept and application of renewable energy technologies are not new in The Gambia, the sector still remains largely untapped due to inability of the main players and stakeholders to effectively harness the full potentials of the resources available.
Thus, he noted that REGAM has been established as part of efforts to significantly address these shortcomings with a view to fully exploit the resources available in the sector.
"REAGAM is a non-profit making cooperation of companies, institutions, organisations and individuals that are actively engaged in the renewable energy sector," he informed.
The objective of the organisation, he said, is to promote the cost-effective and efficient use of renewable energy in an environmentally-sustainable and socio-economically acceptable manner. He further indicated that REAGAM seeks to contribute to the National Energy Policy; act as a lobby group on renewable energy issues; facilitate inter-organisation cooperation; educate people on renewable energy technology; provide a forum for discussion on renewable energy technologies; promote renewable energy research and development; foster professional relationship with regional and international organisations, amongst others.
The representative of the Ministry of Energy, Adama Gassama, described the project as important, saying "Furno Jambarr" is the second most energy efficient cooking stove that economises the use of charcoal when cooking.