Mr Raymond Kusorgbor, the National Programme Coordinator of Ghana Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and Fuels (GHACCO), said over reliance on traditional cookstoves had encouraged deforestation, environmental degradation and climate change.
He said traditional cookstoves and open fires had posed a number of health risks including infections of the eye, throat, and respiratory tract and sometimes cancer, hence the need to reverse the trend.
Mr Kusorgbor made the remarks when GHACCO members engaged the Ga West Municipal Assembly on an evidence-based advocacy programme on clean cookstoves, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The project, dubbed: “Voice for Change (V4C) Partnership Program,” focuses on improvement in climate change, reduction in green-house gas emissions to improve environment and health by promoting access to clean and affordable cookstoves and fuels.
The GHACCO is engaging with metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) to mainstream issues of clean cooking technologies and fuels into their medium term development plans to address the negative effects of traditional cookstoves.
“According to the World Health Organisation 2016 Report, over 17,000 lives are lost annually through exposure to household air pollution in Ghana,” Mr Kusorgbor said.
He said the policy intervention by the MMDAs in promoting the use of improved cookstoves and fuels, as well as LPG gas, would create livelihoods for women and the youth, promote economic development and open up the districts to donor support in the area of clean cooking, climate change, health and the environment.
Mr Kusorgbor appealed to the Government to provide financial support to clean cooking technology businesses like the improved cookstoves and LPG stove manufacturers, producers of pellets, briquettes, carbonised charcoal, biogel, and ethanol to provide energy fuel alternatives.
He called on the MMDAs to make clean cooking a key indicator in their development planning guidelines.
Mr Kusorgbor commended The Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) for supporting the implementation of the project, which would provide a long term policy goal to ensure increased access to affordable, efficient and sustainable energy solution.
Mr Samuel Lawer, the Head of Planning at Ga West Municipal Assembly, expressed gratitude to the SNV and GHACCO for the programme, which has enormous health, economic and environmental benefits.
He said the Assembly would support the clean cooking project as a policy intervention in the budget planning process.