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Sri Lankans resort to wood fired cooking after their economy collapses

 Most countries of the world suffer from great economic pressure, which the major countries are trying to contain, while its consequences are multiplied in developing and small countries, where successive global crises, such as Covid-19 and the Russian-Ukrainian war, have put great pressure on the international economy.

In a report published by the "Barrons" website, writer Amal Gyasenji said that Sri Lanka, which is relatively wealthy, is suffering today from a severe economic crisis and a shortage of goods and services, ranging from medicines to gas, which prompted citizens to stop using gas and cooking with wood.

Sri Lankans resort to wood fired cooking after their economy collapses

According to the writer, Sri Lankans began resorting to this solution at the beginning of this year after more than a thousand kitchens exploded across the country, killing at least 7 people and injuring hundreds more, and the reason is that suppliers were looking to reduce costs and increase the proportion of propane, Which raised the pressure to dangerous levels and caused explosions. Today, gas is either unavailable or too expensive for most people, among many other things in the country of 22 million people.

Some tried to resort to stoves that run on kerosene oil, but the government did not have a sufficient budget to import it besides gasoline and diesel, which is also in short supply. In contrast, those who bought the electric stoves were shocked when the government imposed a long blackout because they ran out of money to import the fuel needed to run the generators.

The writer stated that Neluka Haburachi, 41, miraculously survived, when her gas stove exploded after cooking her lunch last August. The glass stove, I will no longer use gas for cooking, because it is not safe, and now we are using wood."

According to the writer, the 67-year-old owner of a restaurant, Karunawathi, said that she has also moved to using wood so that she does not have to close her restaurant. Firewood is also becoming very expensive."

Economic mismanagement:

Sri Lanka has always been a middle-income country, with per capita GDP comparable to the Philippines, and neighboring India has been the envy of it for its recorded standards of living. But with economic mismanagement and the impact of the important tourism industry destabilized by the Covid-19 virus, the country has run out of funds to pay for most imports, and this crisis situation is likely to continue for some time, according to a statement by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament - last Tuesday - as "We will face difficulties in 2023 as well," he said.

The writer added that informal inflation is now second only to Zimbabwe, and the United Nations estimates that about 80% of people reduce the number of meals, because they are unable to afford food.

The writer shows that before the crisis almost all households in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo were able to afford to use gas, but loggers, such as Celia Raja, are witnessing today a thriving trade; Raja says that timber suppliers in the provinces have doubled their prices due to a sharp rise in demand and skyrocketing transportation costs.

Furthermore, searching for wood within snake- and insect-infested forests can be dangerous, according to the author; Last week, a father of 3 children died of wasp stings in central Sri Lanka and 4 others were taken to hospital.

The writer explains that the demand for alternative energy is also increasing, as entrepreneur Riad Ismail (51 years old) witnessed a boom in sales of the high-tech wood-burning stove he invented in 2008, as he connected a small battery-powered electric fan to blow air into a barrel-shaped stove, to ensure combustion Better firewood, thus reducing smoke and soot that is produced by the traditional method of burning firewood.

Ishmael's products, Estof and Janaliba, which use coconut charcoal, promise at least 60% cost savings over gas cooking, and both of his stoves, which cost about $20 and $50 respectively, have become so best sellers that buyers They had to wait in a long queue due to the large number of requests.


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