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Two assemblies pledge to include clean energy for cooking in development plans

By
Samuel Akapule, GNA

Navrongo (U/E), July 20, GNA – The
Kassena-Nankana Municipal Assembly and the Kassena-Nankana West District
Assembly in the Upper East Region have pledged to mainstream clean energy for
cooking into their Medium Term Development Plan.  

Following advocacy programmes embarked upon by
the Organization for Indigenous Initiatives and Sustainability (ORGIIS), an
environment focused Non-Governmental Organization, the aforementioned MDAs  pledged to prioritize clean energy for
cooking.

Speaking at separate forums organized at
Navrongo and Paga  by the NGO, the
Municipal Planning Officer for the Kassena-Municipal, Mr Andani  Iddrisu, thanked the NGO for drawing the
attention of the MDAs to the problem and stressed that his outfit would  ensure that the area was given special
attention in the planning and implementation process of the assembly.

He expressed the hope that the promotion of
clean energy for cooking systems such as Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) and
improved cooking stoves would help address environmental degradation, mitigate
climate change and also help curb diseases like cough and lung cancers often
associated with traditional cooking in the area.

The two District Planning Officers commended
SNV, the Netherlands Development Organization for providing funding support for
the implementation of “Voice for Change Partnership Project” which is aimed at
implementing the clean energy components including LPG and other improved
cooking stoves.

During the open forum sessions, the
participants who included Assembly Members, District Planning Officers,
District Gender Desk Officers, Area Councils Chairs and Traditional rulers,
said among the major factors that discouraged many people from patronizing the
improved cooking systems was the lack of accessibility, affordability,
efficiency and sustainability of the products.    

“The benefits of fuel subsidies are hardly
enjoyed by the target group as LPG is used by commercial vehicles and Kerosene
adulterated is with diesel and sold for the price of diesel. The high cost of
the cooking stoves and accessories and safety concerns in the case of LPG are
also among the major factors that discourage many people from adapting to the
improved energy cooking systems”

The participants called on government to
subsidize the clean energy cooking systems and ensure that they reached all
rural areas so that more would benefit from its use.

They said the current retail model of LPG
supply would not ensure increased use of the product throughout the country and
stressed the need for it to be repackaged in either water dispenser or Coca
Cola retail model and made available in shops for people to patronize.

The participants further proposed that, those
who could not afford cleaner fuels, be encouraged to use the local energy
resources in an efficient and sustainable manner by using modern methods such
as improved technologies and techniques.

They called for the total removal of subsidies
on LPG saying that money could be used to support LPG devices and accessories
to make them affordable.

They also called for the institutionalization
of a National Policy to regulate charcoal production, provide alternative
livelihoods, tree planting and reforestation and more education on the use of
LPG.

Mr Julius Awaregya, the Coordinator of the
NGO, who called on the MDAs to enact by laws on the environment, said a
research conducted by his outfit and other partners in some selected
communities in the two Districts revealed that many women were still using
animal droppings and farm residue for cooking.

He assured the stakeholders that all their
inputs would be put together and forwarded to the National Development
Commission and the Energy Commission to be considered and implemented.

GNA

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