For years we are and continue to warm up with wooden stoves. Mainly the south-eastern and northern areas of the country continue to keep alive the tradition of the wood stove where the fire starts to light up in November and goes off in March-April. The technology of a wooden room has advanced.
Every household, consumer of wood-burning stoves, consumes from 4,000-10,000 new lekë per month, according to the sales of firewood. According to INSTAT, for the years 2015-2016 in Albania wood and paper products have been exported 3% and imported 4%. However, from sources of information, usually residents of suburban areas or villages around forest areas, they manage to provide wood for cooking and heating by going through forests, usually at night, and thus avoiding the value of the purchase.
Who could pass through the cities of Pogradec and Korca, during the winter, on the sill, in the city sees smog created by wood stoves, where almost all households use them for heating. Do you still choose wood stoves to heat up the tradition or is it the only heating mode that citizens can afford?
According to the 2016 Environment Report, Korca is ranked among the most polluted cities in terms of air quality. The presence of PM10 is due to the fuel being warmed up. To avoid air pollution and the consequences that come from it, it is a personal duty of everyone, to protect his health and the surrounding community. But just a sporadic initiative or contribution is not enough, policies are the ones that bring change, and institutions use all the tools to implement policies that improve the lives of its citizens and the quality of the environment. To improve the air quality, in 2016, the Skopje municipality received a very interesting initiative, subsidizing households, which used wood-burning stoves for heating and cooking. This initiative was undertaken in the form of a competition, where from its budget the municipality singled out 96,000 Euros to support about 200 households.
Air pollution inside the house.
According to the World Health Organization, about 3 billion people around the world cook or heat with solid fuel (wood or coal) or cook over the flames. This type of cooking, coupled with poor ventilation, leads to increased indoor air pollution, which can thus contribute to the development of lung cancer. Women and children are more at risk of indoor air pollution.
EU institutions have also reacted to protect the health. Since almost 15 years the daily limit of 50 micrograms of particles per cubic meter of air absorbed cannot be exceeded in more than 35 days a year. In addition to many environmental measures for controlling car traffic pollution, rigid measures have also been taken for wood stoves.
What can we do, on unfavorable economic conditions, with a lack of specific policies or specific programs for fuel heating?! The subordination of not only a few categories, but of all categories of electric energy throughout the winter months, the use of HVAC (Central Heating Systems) technology encouraging the use of heat pellets for heating and thermo isolation for all city dwellings and not just incentives the use of solar panels, the use of the central heating system, would significantly reduce the air pollution of our cities. There are only Korça and Pogradec towns that use wood stoves for cooking and heating, the peripheral areas of Tirana “adorned” by the chimney chilies of the cold winter days.