At a recent demonstration held by Afrigas at the company’s LPG complex at Kissy, members of the public were enthralled as Portuguese Plant Manager, Martinho Galvao, helped prepare a meal of cassava leaves & rice using a gas stove.
Quickly preparing the meal, Mr. Galvao demonstrated the cleaner, quicker and safer aspects of LPG, while answering questions from an audience keen to make cooking with gas part of their food preparation routine.
Some participants were already converts to gas, and helped Mr. Galvao with his answers. Audience members listened as Mr. Galvao compared the process of cooking with LPG to that of using charcoal. Unlike cooking with charcoal, there was no dirt or smoke pollution, and the cooking process could be started immediately.
One concern was as to whether cooking with LPG allows for simmering, similar to that performed on charcoal - essential when cooking palm oil dishes. Several participants responded that cooking with LPG provided better food simmering than charcoal or firewood, as gas cookers have controls on flame levels allowing the user to raise the flame to boil water, while reducing it during the simmering period. This saves time by speeding up boiling and, because the flame is stable, no fire attendance is needed during the simmering process, allowing time to undertake other chores.
On LPG’s costs Mrs. Yabome Sesay of Freetown commented that, before switching to gas, she spent 120,000 Leones on charcoal monthly. She now spends only 50,000 Leones to refill her LPG cylinder. The saved money is used for buying more food, paying school fees and other things. Switching to LPG has really improved the family’s standard of living.
Answering concerns on safety, Mr. Galvao demonstrated the correct way to handle the LPG cylinder. He went on to inform his audience that the World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that, worldwide, 1.6 million women and children die annually due to toxic air particles contained in smoke from charcoal and wood cooking fires used indoors. With LPG the danger of such toxic air pollution is eliminated.
Praising the advantages of LPG over firewood and charcoal, Mrs. Sesay expressed the hope that Afrigas would soon be made available to all. Mr. Galvao explained that the company is presently in discussion with distributors, and that soon Afrigas products will be available throughout Freetown, and thereafter, the Provinces.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.