Despite the government distributing Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) to rural households in 2017, the customary practice of using firewood for cooking purposes still continue in villages of Lhamoizingkha, Dagana.

The economic affairs ministry, in February 2017, introduced the scheme of LPG distribution to improve access to cleaner fuels among rural households.

But people still prefer firewood for cooking.

A villager, San Maya Mongar, 65, has almost done stacking firewood for the summer.

“We cannot collect when it starts raining,” she said, explaining winter was the right time to collect firewood.

Until the scheme of an LPG per household was introduced, San Maya Mongar’s family never used the petroleum gas. The family still prefers firewood.

She said food tastes better when cooked using firewood. “We are used to this.”

Unlike Karmaling and Nichula gewogs in Lhamoizingkha drungkhag, Lhamoizingkha gewog is connected with roads.

A fuel depot has also been installed along the Manitar-Lhamoizingkha highway in 2017. However, farmers said firewood was a better option.

Deo Maya Mongar, another resident said the government’s initiative to distribute LPG was a good one and helped many. “But we still use firewood. We use LPG only when we run out of firewood.”

She said LPG does not last when the family is large.

Patali Majhi is also busy collecting firewood these days. As her village Kuendrelthang is near the forest, firewood is accessible. “At times when LPG is over, we use firewood to cook,” she said.

She said it is the taste of the food cooked on fire that compels her to use firewood. “LPG is also expensive.”

The tshogpa of Sipsuni village, Rohit Koirala, said there were about 18 to 20 households that still prefer firewood.

Gewog officials said that about 30 percent people in the gewog still used firewood for cooking. There are about 400 households in the gewog.

Rajesh Rai | Lhamoizingkha