2 assemblies mainstream clean energy for cooking into MTDPs

The Kassena-Nankana Municipal Assembly and the Kassena–Nankana West District in the Upper East Region have mainstreamed clean energy for cooking into their Medium Term Development Plans (MTDPs).

Additionally, the two assemblies have begun the process of gathering data from some selected communities and institutions in the districts to develop strategic document to source funding from development partners to implement clean energy for cooking.

These came to light during Accountability Workshop on Clean Cooking Initiative organised at Navrongo in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality on Friday.

The programme, which attracted stakeholders including District Planning Officers, Assembly members, the Ghana Education Service (GES), the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and traditional rulers, among others, from the two districts, was organised by the Organisation for Indigenous Initiatives and Sustainability (ORGIIS), an environment focused non-governmental organisation and sponsored by SNV, the Netherlands Development Organisation.

The Development Planning Officer of the Kassena-Nankana Municipality, Mr Idrissu Andani, commended the NGO and the funding agency for supporting the assemblies to mainstream the clean energy for cooking into their MTDPs, and noted that it  was  in line with the climate change and vulnerability programme that all  the assemblies in the country  were expected to execute.

He also noted that the programme also fits into the Greening Ghana Economy being implemented by the government and gave the assurance that the assemblies would work hard to ensure that all the communities embrace the concept of clean energy for cooking.

The Development Planning Officer of the Kassena-Nankana West District Assembly, Mr Tahiru Mohammed Salifu, stated that the preliminary data gathered so far, with the support from ORGIIS and SNV, indicated that majority of the community members lacked knowledge about the existence of clean cooking stoves providers in the area.

Most of the women in the communities often travel more than 2km from the community in search of fuelwood, while others relied on millet stocks and cow dung for cooking.

The community members also advocated reduction of the cost of LPG gas and cylinder, and the provision of cooking stoves that use less fuelwood for cooking.

The Programmes Manager of the NGO, Mr Cifford Amoah Adagenera, cited that the 2010 statistics available at the Renewable Energy Unit of the Ministry of Energy revealed that the north was the most affected in terms of fuelwood consumption, with the Northern Region leading with 78 per cent, Upper West Region, 75 per cent and Upper East Region 62 per cent.

He expressed optimism that the mainstreaming of the cleaner energy for cooking into the assemblies MTDPs would help address the challenges of environmental degradation in the regions.

The Coordinator of the NGO, Mr Julius Awaregya, said smoke from the traditional methods of cooking contributed to a range of chronic illnesses such as stroke, lung cancer and other respiratory illnesses, with women and children being the most affected.

Mr Awaregya said it was against this background that his outfit with funding from SNV, the Netherlands Development Organisation, was implementing the ‘Voice for Change Partnership Project’, as part of the cleaner energy components including LPG and other improved cooking stoves in the Kassena-Nankana Municipal and Kassena-Nankana West District in the Upper East Region.

The Energy Advisor of SNV, Mr Dramani Bukari, commended the two assemblies for taking such a bold initiative, and appealed to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to ensure that all MMDAs in the country mainstream clean cooking into their MTDPs to help attain the Sustainable Development Goals.

FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, NAVRONGO

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