Workshop On Environmental, Health, Social Impact Of ‘BOJA’ Project Held

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A day’s workshop to discuss the environmental, health and social impact of a project that would promote the manufacturing and the use of efficient cook stove ‘BOJA’ in Ghana has ended in Accra.

It was attended by representatives from government institutions, the private sector, civil society organisations, local economic experts, GIZ representatives, the Global Project Partners, local community members and social entrepreneurs.

Mr Nicholas Manu, the Chief Executive Officer of CookClean Ghana Limited, organisers of the workshop, said the purpose of the project was to manufacture, promote and distribute efficient cookstoves and renewable fuels to domestic users across Ghana.

“The project will distribute an average of 66,000 stoves yearly which will displace baseline inefficient cooking devices that consume more non-renewable biomass. It will also help build skills and capabilities, and increase the number of jobs and employment opportunities for school leavers, most especially women in the value chain,” he said.

Mr Manu stated that the increase in the use of efficient stoves would help the country’s economy by preventing the use of wood-fuels, reducing deforestation, contributing to mitigating climate change and would further help drop the rate of the national health bill in acute respiratory illness.

He said, according to the World Bank, in Ghana, similarly to most Sub-Saharan African countries, the consumption of biomass energy represented over 90 per cent of the domestic energy consumed by its 31.7 million inhabitants.

That, “Sustained demographic growth, urbanization and cooking habits are likely to maintain the domination of such a consumption pattern, which results in severe deforestation, considering that the population will reach 52 million by 2050 according to UN projection.”

The Chief Executive said cooking smoke contributes to a range of chronic illnesses and acute health impacts such as early childhood pneumonia, emphysema, cataracts, lung cancer, bronchitis, cardiovascular disease and low birth weight.

“Women and young children are the most affected by the health problems associated with exposure to smoke, with more than 3,000 children in Ghana dying every year as a result of acute lower respiratory infections, including pneumonia, caused by the use of solid fuels,” he stated.

Mr Manu said: “In Ghana, more than 80 per cent of households rely on solid fuels for their household cooking needs, contributing to deforestation and desertification. Inefficient cookstoves also contribute to climate change through emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, and aerosols such as black carbon.”

He said the distribution of ‘BOJA’ cookstove, a locally manufactured charcoal cookstove, that features a cooking speed regulator (sliding door), ceramic combustion chamber similar to the ‘JIKO’ known in Ghana as “Gyapa” has proven suitable for Ghanaian cooking practices.

“The project is designed with an incentive scheme that involves heavy subsidy to enable users to purchase the stove,” he said.

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