المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Winter at doors | High turnout on buying pistachio shells heaters instead of fuel and firewood

Idlib markets are crowded with different types of heating items that are sold with high prices and used as substitutes of oil products. Shops for selling firewood, fuel and coal have been spreading, and recently many people have tended to use the pistachio shells for heating for its good results.

Recently, the use of different shells of almond, pistachio, hazelnut and pine nuts has been spreading in home-made heaters that wither work with electricity or fire.

Those heaters have seen high sales because it is easy to work and gives big warm and of course it is healthier than others working with firewood and fuel.

Many families in Idlib attempt to buy and store pistachio and other types of nut before the winter in reasonable prices. It is worth noting that each family needs an average of ton and half ton of shells for the winter season.

SOHR activists have documented the prices per ton of pistachio and other nuts with USD as following: Pistachio shells 155 USD, hazelnut shells 100 USD, almond shells 140 USD, oak wood 150 USD, olive wood 120 USD, walnut wood 130 USD, biren 100 USD and coal is sold for 160 USD.

In his testimony for SOHR, KH.M., who has been working the field of making heater of shells in Deir Hassan countryside in north Idlib said, “ the invention of shell heater was made because of the dire need to get rid of the health damages of the fuel and the biren heaters .”

He explained that the shell heater is basically made of the diesel that it’s inside part is replaced by a box that could be filled with shells and then connect it with electricity.

He added that the shells are put inside the box that is connected to the heaters and via the spiral part the shells are moved inside gradually.
The process is controlled with the speed of spiral part and the number of adding the shell per minute or per second, KH.M said, adding that the shell heater is better with its higher heat and the easiness of using it in addition to its elegant shape and suitable size. They also work with small battery and don’t consume much energy.

He added there is high turnout on making and consuming the heaters in North Syria in general and with different and not high prices.

On the other hand, M.S. who has been displaced from west Hama in one of the camps in Deir Hasan in north Idlib countryside was preparing for buying ton of pistachio with 150 USD. He told SOHR, that his three-member family has suffered in the past years of using the coal and firewood due to the smoke and the smelling and that is why he decided to use the pistachio shell for warming this year.

He added he needs a ton and a half of pistachio with small money difference compared to firewood, citing pistachio is better for several reasons: the shells don’t need wide areas for storing like firewood, which leave good part of the house not crowded, the heaters are easy to be used with shells and also fire could be controlled more than using the coal and the firewood that have very bothering smells.

He noted that the people are running now to buy and store pistachio and other nuts before the winter to avoid the greediness of sellers with the beginning the temperature getting low, as no family in the houses or the tents could live without heaters.

As for the prices of heaters in Idlib and its countryside, it varied based on the types and the quality. SOHR activists have documented the prices in USD as following: the shell heaters varied from 100-250 USD, the firewood heaters varied from 50-150 USD, diesel heaters varied from 100-150 USD each based on the types and the quality of heaters.

It is worth noting that the winter carries lots of sufferings to the civilians especially the displaced which pushed some of them not to buy all the tools of heating and tend to invent their own heating sources as well as using cloths and nylon that are harmful due to their hard living conditions.

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