VIVO Energy Ghana, the company that distributes and markets Shell products, and Chirano Gold Mines have embarked on a project to provide solar-energy gadgets to communities in the Bibiani- Anhwiaso-Bekwai District in the Western Region.
The project, dubbed: “Access to Energy Programme,” forms part of the two companies’ community investment programmes intended to provide energy-saving devices to deprived communities that do not have enough access to such facilities.
The items to be provided include energy-efficient stoves which use less charcoal and cooks faster than the normal traditional coal pot and solar lamps which schoolchildren would need for study at night at no cost as the communities do not have electricity.
The stoves are to help minimise the damaging health effects of indoor air pollution (IAP), save charcoal cost by 50 per cent and reduce cooking time by 50 per cent.
Accordingly, the solar lamps are to help reduce dependency on poor quality lighting from kerosene lamps and candles, reduce danger of domestic fire outbreaks and ensure that more girls attain higher education to bridge the challenging gender gap in education.
Three hundred and fifty women within the Betekye, Grumakrom, Atiakrom, Akurakan and Kwanikrom communities received free-energy efficient lamps, while 350 girls in the same communities received free solar lamps at the launch of the programme.
The Managing Director of Vivo Energy Ghana, Mr Fred Osoro, said at the launch that girls were chosen for the distribution over boys because they spent more time assisting in household chores and needed quality lamps to study at night.
He added that bio data on beneficiaries of the stoves w0uld be collated for future interviews on how beneficial the product had been in order to advance further research and help shape the company’s future corporate social responsibility initiatives.
The Community Consultative Committee Chair and Chief of Paboase, Nana Frimpong Manso Ababio, on behalf of the communities, thanked Vivo Energy Ghana and the management of Chirano Gold Mines for their support.
He also appealed to the government to provide electricity for those communities as they could not survive solely on the support of donors.
He said communities in mining areas were often neglected because they were misrepresented to be wholly catered for by mining companies.
Nana Ababio urged the beneficiaries not to misuse the items but rather keep them safe to serve their purposes.