The United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) will this year, spend $700,000to roll out an inclusive support for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)in six districts of the country.
This forms part of UNDP’s programmes to build on previous Government ofGhana’s recovery efforts towards the promotion of MSMEs.
The beneficiary districts are Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Ketu South Municipal Assembly, SefwiWiawso Municipal Assembly, Jomoro Municipal Assembly, Sagnarigu District Assembly and Kassena–Nankana West District Assembly
Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and World Bank COVID-19 business tracker reveals that COVID-19 affected businesses including MSMEs and so the programme would strengthen capacity for good corporate governance and awareness creation to prevent radicalisation.
It would also promote business development services supports, energy and resource efficiency.
Head of Environment and Climate at UNDP, Mr Stephen Kansuk, made the revelation on Monday, in an interview with journalists at a day’s training organised by Energy Commission( EC) with support from UNDP, for district assemblies and businesses in Takoradi.
On energy and resources efficiency, he said, the programme sought to support businesses to save costs.
“We engaged and audited 15 businesses including manufacturing MSMEs and hotels across the six districts and it showed that businesses employ about 1000 workers, with over 80 percent youth and about 70 percent women.” MrKansuk said.
Again, areas audited included utility consumption, on water, electricity, internet and liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG), equipment being used, building architecture and maintenance culture and the approach involved a walk-through audit and patterns analyses of utility usage and waste generation, he added.
Findings on energy, he noted, showed that almost all facilities had manually operated compound/outside lights kept on for several hours.
Room appliances such as television sets(TVs) were mostly on standby mode even when not being used, adding that, air conditioners facilities, too, had low-efficiency ratings, he said.
Besides, Mr Kansuk said, facilities used inefficient and environmentally unfriendly refrigerant gas.
Again, he told journalists that few facilities still used inefficient lighting fixtures like fluorescent lamps.
The study, the expert said, recommended that all fluorescent lambs should be replaced with Light Emitting Diode (LED) ones, and photo sensors should be installed to control compound lights, saying that, facilities need to use energy efficient Air Conditioners (ACs) with a minimum of three- star rated inverter to save energy.
Senior Manager, Energy Efficiency Regulation at EC, MrJohnAdjei, described transformers, chargers including phone chargers, laptop chargers, desk printers, electric water heaters, water dispensers, television sets, sound systems and decoders as “appliances and on standby and agents of power thefts.”
He also advised participants to turn of unused office equipment including personal computers, air conditioners, close windows and door tightly when they were on, switch off AC when room was not occupied for long period and put off refrigerators when empty.
For his part, another expert from the commission, Mr Kennedy Amankwah, who spoke on housekeeping issues, suggested institutions should appoint energy managers, who would coordinate the efficient use of energy resources and ensure savings were made.
He stressed “With this you can make room for additional resources modernisation job improvement and reduce risks. The more energy you consume, the greater the risks that energy prices increases, it’s impossible for your businesses to flourish and also reduce carbon emission.”
The Director, Renewable Energy and Efficiency, EC, Kofi Agyarko, explained that the UNDP partnership hoped to rope in more groups including business like chop bars, restaurants for discussions on energy use and reduction of waste because electricity was essential in social and economic life.
He said the EC was looking forward to further collaboration to enhance energy efficiency at all levels.
FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, TAKORADI