BY JOSEPH NANA YAW COBBINA
In line with government effort to make LPG use flexible to consumer, under auspices of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, in collaboration with the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and other private institutions are 10 inch Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) pipeline is under construction from Tema Jetty to Tema Oil Refinery to spearheaded the promotion of the use of LPG as a cleaner, safer and healthier form of cocking fuel for household.
It is aimed at adding to the existing 6-inch pipeline to increase the rate of discharge of LPG from vessels to storage tanks.
Speaking at the one-day workshop organized, at the instance of the Ghana Alliance for Clean Cookstoves GHACCO, the Deputy Director of the Petroleum Directorate at the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Mr. Kwame Bona Siriboe, hinted that aimed to ensure a vibrant cookstove sector in Ghana that provides adequate access and efficient utilization of clean and improved cookstoves in Ghana.
He stressed that GHACCO is one of the civil society platform that aims to catalyze the cook stoves sector?to address the high levels of indoor air pollution(fumes and smoke) resulting from cooking with solid fuels on open fire or traditional stoves which, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is estimated to cause 1.5 million premature deaths each year.
Mr Siriboe further explained that government was embarking on the implementation of a rural cylinder recirculation program which would enable them distribute 50,000 pieces of 6kg cylinders and cook stoves in 10 low access districts in the country within this year.
According to Mr Siriboe, noted that the workshop was in line with Government?s policy of aggressively improving access to LPG to 50% in urban areas and up to 15% in rural areas in the shortest possible time.
The Ministry has started the promotion program in the late 1980?s, overall consumption had risen from 5,267millitres in 1989 to about 32,000millitres in 1996.
He said the Ministry would facilitate the setting up of ten mini-refill plant outlets in low access districts to ensure that beneficiary districts had constant supply of LPG and prevent users from reverting back to wood fuels.
Mr. Siriboe, said the implementation of the programme would reduce drudgery and time wasted in fetching firewood fuel, save children time to attend school and help government?s effort at arresting deforestation in the country.
He expressed hope that the initiative would bring up rural access levels towards the achievement of a total nationwide usage of 50%.
In his presentation to climax the workshop, a Energy Consultant, Mr. Wisdom Ahiataku Togobo, noted that the poorer a society, the higher the tendency of their reliance on firewood for fuel, adding that the more people use charcoal, the more trees are cut down which unavoidably depleted the forest.
Mr Togobo expressed regret that initiatives such as the Ahinbenso Coalpot and Gyapa Cocoa Energy Conservation Project could not be sustained due to the lack of a strong institution to sustain the program hence died out.
According to him, if women were educated on the negative impact of smoke on their health, they would be willing to buy LPG, adding that it took 5 % tons of wood to produce one ton of charcoal which was a clear indication of how much forest was going to be cut.