Government has distributed 3,000 Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders and stoves to some beneficiaries in the East Gonja District of the Northern Region under the Rural LPG Promotion Programme as part of efforts to discourage the rampant felling of trees for fuel.
The programme seeks to promote the use of LPG in all households and comes on the back of government’s promise to distribute 50,000 cook-stoves and cylinders as an alternative source of fuel in some selected rural areas to avoid pollution of the ozone layer.
It is being carried out in collaboration with the Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company (GCMC), the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) and the Energy Commission (EC).
Deputy Energy and Petroleum Minister John Jinapor, speaking at the launch of the programme, said about 8,500 pieces of the 6-kilogramme LPG cylinders with cook-stoves had so far been disbursed free of charge, and assured that the gesture will be replicated in other parts of the country as a way of campaigning against the use of firewood that affects the health status of end- users.
He said the programme will help to curb the illegal felling of trees for charcoal in the country, which is affecting the activities of farmers who depend on rain to cultivate their farms and feed the nation.
Garu-Tempane District in the Upper East Region was the first district to receive its share when it received 1,500 pieces of 6kg cylinders and cook-stoves. The Tano South District in the Brong Ahafo Region has also received 4,000 while Ajumako-
Enyan-Essiam District in the Central Region had 3,000 pieces in April.
Mr. Jinapor said monitoring and evaluation exercises conducted in the beneficiary areas so far indicate a massive embrace by the communities, since most of them formerly depended on the archaic way of cooking which comes with eye problems and other health-related issues.
He said the Ministry and the NPA are also engaging the LPG marketing companies and local dealers to facilitate the setting up of some mini-refill stations in these identified areas to make life easy for such persons without necessarily traveling far to access the fuel for their activities.
The Ministry, he said, is also working with some stakeholders to come up with guidelines and regulations to reintroduce the cylinder- circulation model so as to minimise the numerous health and safety^elated challenges such as fatal accidents affecting the nation of late.
He advised the beneficiaries to be cautious of the basic safety precautions to ensure optimum safety and security, and also desist from the use of the firewood and charcoal to make the efforts of government not be in vain.
Mr. Mohammed Aminu Lukumanu, District Chief Executive of the East Gonja District, said the programme has come at the right time because the use of firewood and charcoal will be a thing of the past, and that residents in the area will be introduced to modern way of cooking to safeguard their welfare.
Hajia Memuna, a beneficiary, expressed gratitude to the Ministry and government for such a kind gesture and assured the items will be used for the intended purpose.
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