BHAIRAHAWA, Feb 28: In a bid to reduce indoor air pollution in the region, Sammarimai Rural Municipality is planning to distribute liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders to each household of the rural municipality.
As the households still depend on biomass energy – firewood and agricultural residues – for cooking purpose, the residents have been suffering from tuberculosis, asthma, eye-related problems, due to the smoke produced while burning firewood.
So, aiming at reducing indoor air pollution in the region, the rural municipality is preparing to distribute LPG cylinders to the residents of the region.
“The rural municipality is distributing LPG cylinders as the locals still use biomass energy such as cattle dung and firewood for cooking. The smoke from the biomass energy has been hitting the health of the residents – especially women. So, the rural municipality is distributing LPG cylinders to reduce indoor air pollution,” said Jitendra Nath Shukla, chair of the rural municipality.
In the initial stage, the rural municipality is planning to distribute cylinders in ward number 6, which is also the largest ward. There are a total of 1,100 households in the ward.
In the second phase, the rural municipality has planned to distribute LPG cylinders in three wards by mid-April.
According to Tek Raj Bhattarai, administrative officer at the rural municipality, the rural municipality plans to distribute a total of 6,000 LPG cylinders.
The rural municipality has allocated a total of Rs 5.5 million for the program. It has announced a tender for the program, and the rural municipality has planned to select the firm within the next week. The distribution will start right after selecting the firm, according to the rural municipality.
However, the residents, themselves, should purchase a gas stove after getting the LPG cylinders.
There are 6,000 households in the rural municipality. According to the rural municipality, it is collecting information from the households for the program. The rural municipality plans to make the region biogas energy free within the next two years.
In the meantime, the government has planned to make the country indoor air pollution free by 2022 through the promotion of clean cooking technologies. It is estimated that almost 7,500 people die in Nepal annually due to different diseases caused by indoor air pollution.