The Kassena-Nankana Municipal Assembly in the Upper East Region has rolled out a five year development strategy on clean cooking energy, to make clean energy technologies accessible to rural communities.
The Municipal Assembly and the Kassena-Nankana West District Assembly have been supported by the Organization for Indigenous Initiatives and Sustainability (ORGIIS-Ghana), an environment focused Non-Governmental Organization, with funding support from SNV, Netherlands Development Organization, to mainstream clean cooking issues into their Medium Term Development Plans.
The project, which would run from 2020 to 2024, would ensure the scaling up of sensitization and promotion for the adoption of improved, sustainable and efficient cooking equipment or improved cookstoves, as best alternatives to the traditional methods of cooking, to promote socioeconomic development.
The strategic plan, intended to employ a collaborative approach to educate community members on the need to make a paradigm shift from relying on traditional methods of cooking to more improved alternatives, would work with traditional authorities, community groups, political groups, religious groups, trade Associations and Civil Society Organizations among other stakeholders.
The overall goal of the strategic plan is to accelerate universal access to safe, sustainable and affordable clean cooking technologies in the municipality to achieve improved living conditions, reduce environmental degradation, reduce health hazards related to cooking devices and cooking fuels as well as advance the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union Agenda 2063.
Speaking in Navrongo during the presentation of a draft of the development strategy to major stakeholders in the municipality, Mr Dauda Issaku Saari, the Municipal Budget Officer indicated that the projected population in the municipality for 2019 was 129,279 people and was likely to grow to 141,348 by 2024, however, only 27 percent of the current population size have access and use clean energy for fuel, while the rest still relied on fuel wood.
He said the Assembly was targeting about 65 per cent of the population, to have access to clean and efficient energy by 2024 and therefore, was committed to working closely with relevant stakeholders to implement the plan to realize the dream “With the use of clean fuels, improved cook stoves and structural improvement in household design and kitchens, deaths and disabilities associated with Household air pollution will reduce by eight per cent by the end of 2024”.
Mr Saari believed that the implementation of the strategic plan would not only reduce indoor pollution in many homes but would further empower the women to venture into economic activities to help attain socio economic growth.
Mr Julius Awaregya, the Coordinator of ORGIIS-Ghana, applauded the Municipal Assembly for leading the campaign for the adoption of clean energy for cooking and said it was imperative for all the Assemblies especially those in the region to emulate the Kassena-Nankana Municipal Assembly and mainstream it into their medium term development plans.