Poor rural women lament lack of affordable clean energy for cooking

Navrongo (U/E) Some poor rural women groups in the Kassena-Nankana Municipal and Kassena-Nankana West District have said poor access to clean energy has compelled many households to rely on fuel wood for cooking.

Mrs Akosua Ayaani, leader of one of the women groups from the Gongnia Community in the Kassena-Nankana Municipal, said the high cost of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas, the cylinders and their accessories made it difficult for poor rural women to afford the products.

The women made the complaint on Monday when some staff of the Organization for Indigenous Initiatives and Sustainability (ORGIIS-Ghana), an environment focused Non-Governmental Organization, paid separate working visits to some of the communities in the area including Gongnia and Bonabisi to find out how they were coping with some of the improved stoves given to them at subsidized cost.

Mrs Ayaani, on behalf of her colleagues, lauded the efforts of the NGO for providing them with improved charcoal cooking stoves and improved cooking fuel wood stoves at subsidized cost of GH60.00 instead of GH200.00 each.

She said the improved cooking stoves has reduced the drudgery of trekking far distances in search of fuel wood, as the stoves used less fuel wood and charcoal.

She called on the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and the government to subsidize the products and also train local artisans to construct locally improved cooking stoves at affordable prices for them.

Mrs Cecelia Anemi, leader of another group from Bonabisi community in the Kassena-Nankana West District, said if this is done it will be easier for some of us to buy gas for cooking and will also help cut down the overreliance on trees for fuel wood.

Mr Julius Awaregya, the Coordinator of ORGIIS-Ghana, expressed worry about the situation saying the 2010 statistics available at the Renewable Energy Unit of the Ministry of Energy indicates that the five regions of the north were the highest consumers of fuel wood.

The Northern Region is leading with 78 per cent consumption rate while the Upper West and Upper East Regions, consume 75 per cent and 62 per cent respectively, he said.

He said the lack of access to clean energy was due to low demand in many communities in the northern sector and this has failed to attract suppliers thus compelling many consumers to rely on traditional cooking methods.

Mr Awaregya said his outfit, with funding from SNV, the Netherlands Development Organization, was also implementing the ‘Voice for Change Partnership Project’, as part of the cleaner energy components including LPG and other improved cooking stoves in the two Districts.

He called on the management of the cylinder recirculation reform to ensure its proper implementation by considering the five regions of the north, to address the spate of environmental degradation and effects climate change.

Source: Ghana News Agency