Mr Armah Kofi Buah, the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, on Wednesday assured that government would freely distribute 50,000 pieces of 6kg cylinders and cook stoves to 10 low access districts.
In a speech read on his behalf, Mr Buah said the distribution of the cylinders formed part of the Rural Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Promotion programme which is targeting rural areas with low access to LPG.
He said the programme, which started last year, has so far distributed 1,500 pieces of cylinders and cook stoves to selected districts as a pilot project.
Mr Buah made this known during a workshop in Accra to discuss critical issues in the LPG sector in Ghana.
The workshop was organised by the Anomena Ventures in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Clean Ghana and the Ghana Alliance for Clean Cook Stoves and it was attended by producers, distributors and users of LPG products.
Mr Buah said in order to make the promotion meaningful and to ensure that beneficiary districts had constant supply of LPG to prevent users reverting to wood fuels his outfit would facilitate the setting up of 10 mini-refill plant outlets in the low access districts.
He assured that the Ministry would replicate the programme in other selected low access districts nationwide in subsequent years.
“We strongly believe this initiative would bring up rural access levels towards the achievements of a total nationwide usage of 50 per cent soon and will also improve the quality of life of rural dwellers,” he said.
Mr Buah said the Ministry is working with the National Petroleum Authority and other relevant agencies to come up with guidelines and regulations to reintroduce the Cylinder Re-Circulation Model where major oil marketing companies owned cylinders and supplied LPG to consumers.
Mr Kwesi B. Sarpong, Regional Market Manager for Global Alliance for Clean Cook Stoves, urged Ghanaians especially rural dwellers to adopt the use of LPG.
He said many women had lost their lives as result of indoor air pollution which is caused by the use fire wood for cooking and the situation is not the same with those women who used cleaner fuels like gas or electricity.
He said access to cleaner fuels such as LPG for domestic cooking and heating reduced women’s exposure to harmful indoor air pollution.
Mrs Chrstie Asare, Director, Sea/Legal department of the Environmental Protection Agency, called for inter-sectorial approach and political will to be able to achieve a clean fuel environment.
Participants at the workshop urged government to reduce the price of LPG to be able to attract many consumers.