Chhayanath Municipality distributes gas stoves, cylinders to 56 impoverished householdsThe move has been launched with an aim to reduce residents’ dependence on forest resources, to protect the municipality’s forests.
Chhayanath Municipality in Mugu has distributed gas stoves with cylinders to 56 impoverished households. The distribution is part of the first phase of the Mayor with Poor People Programme to protect the municipality’s forest resources.
According to the municipality, the programme was launched in Laha and Lapu villages in the first phase. On Sunday, 24 households of Laha and 32 households of Lapu received gas cylinders, regulators and gas stoves free of cost.
Although most of the families adopted gas cooking system in Gamgadhi, the district headquarters of Mugu, the majority of families in the remote villages of the district still use firewood for cooking purposes.
Gora Singh BK, a local of Laha, said that they use firewood to cook. “We are not economically capable to purchase a gas stove with a cylinder. It will be easier for us to cook our meals,” said BK, after receiving a gas cooking set.
Most of the women and senior citizens in the remote areas are found suffering from respiratory diseases including asthma, as they are exposed to smoke emitted from firewood. Harijang Shahi, mayor of the municipality, said that the programme has been started targeting impoverished families. He said, “Villagers are compelled to cook food in smoke-heavy traditional fireplace that emits smoke that is enough to cloud the whole house. Because of this, they are suffering from asthma and other respiratory diseases. That’s why we have a target to provide facilities for poor people.”
The municipality is also going to make a working guideline to help the impoverished community under the Mayor with Poor People Programme. Shahi said, “We plan to inspect the impoverished households and help them at their doorsteps. This programme will also be extended to other wards.”
According to municipal officials, their ultimate goal is to conserve forests through this programme. “Locals in the remote area will also be habituated to the use of the gas stove and this will reduce the use of firewood. Ultimately, this plan will help in forest conservation in Mugu,” said Shahi.
In the current fiscal year, the municipality has allocated Rs 500,000 for the programme. In the first phase, the municipality distributed gas cooking set worth Rs 12,000 (including transport fares) to each of 56 households.