SLURC Trains 24 Residents on Addressing Energy Challenges of Community Kitchens

By Millicent Senava Mannah

The Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre, in collaboration with AfriGas, EGTC and Government Technical Institute has completed a two day Energy Champion for Community Kitchen Training Workshop with 24 community members from Portee and Rokupa in Freetown. This training was held on the 4th& 5th October, 2023 at the Government Technical Institute compound closer to the Kissy Ferry Junction in the East End of Freetown.

During the training workshop, various topics were delved into, including clean cooking technologies, energy-efficient practices, and community engagement strategies, with the objective that the beneficiaries will become catalysts for change in their respective communities.

The Executive Director for SLURC, Joseph McCarthy, intimated that the training marks a significant milestone in their collective efforts to address the energy challenges faced by their communities, particularly in the context of community kitchens.

“Access to clean and affordable energy is essential for the well-being and sustainable development of our society,” he said adding that community kitchens serve as vital spaces where meals are prepared for schools, hospitals, and other communal settings. He continued that, many of these kitchens rely on traditional cooking methods that not only contribute to deforestation but also pose serious health risks due to indoor air pollution.
“It is imperative that we find innovative and sustainable solutions to transform these community kitchens into safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly spaces,” Joseph McCarthy recommended.

He disclosed that together with their esteemed partners, GTI, AfriGas, and EGTC, they are deeply committed to driving positive change in the energy landscape of Sierra Leone noting that their collaborative efforts aim at promoting clean cooking solutions, enhance energy access and foster inclusive development.

He pointed out that they are empowering them as Energy Champions, for them to lead the change within their communities, and how they can create a ripple effect that will transform countless lives and pave the way for a sustainable future.

“Together, we will explore innovative approaches to address the challenges faced by community kitchens, such as the adoption of clean cooking stoves, renewable energy solutions, and sustainable fuel alternatives,” the Executive Director expressed the need for synergy.
He averred that, through this collaborative effort, they can reduce the environmental impact, improve the health and well-being of kitchen workers and enhance the overall efficiency of their community kitchens.

The Executive Director encouraged all the trainees, as Energy Champions, to share their insights to their communities and how together, they can ignite a movement that will transform community kitchens into beacons of sustainability, health, and empowerment.
The Representative of AfriGas encouraged everyone to buy their products saying they do not only save time, but how with them, the cutting down of trees will be minimized and such will save the environment.
Zakiatu Sesay, one of the trainees said she learnt a lot one of which is that using innovative means of cooking save time and are more economical to use.
Another trainee also buttressed that time is saved as well as contributing in keeping the kitchen clean.
The issuing out of certificates to the trainees at the end of the training workshop formed the highpoint of the two day event .


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