Business News of Thursday, 5 October 2017
Mrs Lily-Versta Nyarko, the Executive Secretary of Ghana Alliance for Clean Cookstove and Fuels (GHACCO), has appealed to the government to reduce taxes and import duties placed on clean cook stoves and its components.
This, she said, would increase the production of the stoves, make them affordable as well as save the nation’s forest from further depletion.
Mrs Nyarko made the appeal during the Western Regional launch of the “clean cookstove project” in Takoradi.
The launch, organised by Ghana Alliance for Clean Cookstove in collaboration with DAASGIFT Quality Foundation and sponsored by Strategic Support to Clean Cooking Sector in Ghana (SSCCIG), all non-governmental organisations, was on the theme “Cooking Must Not Kill.”
The GHACCO Executive Secretary said it was important for the government and other stakeholders to invest in the clean cookstove project to reduce deaths from exposure to household air pollution which occurred during cooking.
Mrs Nyarko said GHACCO recognised the need towards reducing the more than 13,000 deaths which occurred each year as a result of exposure to household air pollution (HAP) from cooking; and the more than 21 million people who were affected by exposure to HAP each year.
She explained that exposure to smoke from traditional cook stoves and open fires contributed to a wide range of illnesses such as pneumonia, bronchitis, cataracts, lung cancer, cardiovascular diseases, low birth weight and burns.
She noted that clean cook stoves reduced fuel use and exposure to harmful cooking smoke; adding that it did not only improve upon cooking but also contributed to job creation in the cooking value chain through research,
technology development, promotion and marketing.
Dr Kwaku Afriyie, the Western Regional Minister in a speech read on his behalf, commended GHACCO for conceiving the idea and implementing the project in the Region.
He noted with concern that despite the various inventions by government for people to use improved fuel for cooking, many people especially in the rural areas still used firewood in cooking which had serious health implications on them and the environment.
“According to the World Health Organisation four million deaths in 2012 were attributed to household air pollution and about 2.6 billion people in the world still relied on firewood, charcoal and coal for cooking.”
He said to address the situation, the government reintroduced the LPG promotion programme, which was intended to increase the use of LPG as a main cooking fuel in households to 50 per cent by 2020.
“As stakeholders, we therefore, need to step up our concerted efforts on activities and actions aimed at ensuring increased usage of clean cooking systems in the country. Apart from saving lives, the use of clean cookstove would also help create jobs for our people,” he added.
Mr Alexis Kwame Donyinah, Project Manager of SSCCIG, said the launch was another landmark for his organisation and was hopeful that the project would yield positive results and inspire all to use improved cooking technology to protect lives and save the environment.
Madam Gifty Baaba Asmah, Executive Director and Regional Coordinator of GHACCO, encouraged all households to use clean cookstoves and save their lives and the environment.