The World Bank is supporting government to develop a national clean cooking strategy to serve as a roadmap and a catalyst for a thriving clean cooking sector in the country.

Madam Juliet Pumpuni, Senior Energy Specialist, Africa Energy Group of the World Bank has said this at the launch of the Clean Cooking Pilot Project by the ENI (International Oil and Gas Company) in partnership with World Bank Ghana, Vitol and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) on Thursday.

The Project would covered 10 communities and benefited 13,000 people in the Ellembelle District and later extended to the other parts of the Country.

She said clean cooking solutions would also advance other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including; good health, Gender equality, climate action, environmental sustainability and eliminating poverty in Ghana.

Madam Pumpuni said poor cooking environment in the country resulted in large premature deaths especially among women and children adding that urgent action was needed to scale-up access to modern energy solution for cooking in Ghana through policies, financing, technology and the development of a thriving clean cooking market in the country.

The Energy Specialist added that the country risked missing out on achieving the universal access to modern energy services on the SDGs by 2030.

She said the key mission of the World Bank was to reduce poverty, improve living conditions and promote sustainable and comprehensive development for developing countries, although they could not achieve the goals on its own without partnering other organisations.

Madam Pumpuni said the World Bank was excited to leverage the power of partnership by collaborating with ENI in ensuring that universal access to clean cooking solutions in Ghana became an integral element of ensuring the broader aims of the SDG seven.

She said collaborating with ENI under the Clean Cooking Pilot Project would serve as a test case for developing further contextualised support systems and programmes from the World Bank to the government of Ghana in its clean cooking promotion agenda.

Lessons, she said acquired through the implementation of the Clean Cooking Project could be used by the government in drafting the national clean cooking strategy.

Mr Roberto Daniele, Managing Director, ENI Ghana said Ghana was experiencing significant transformation through the discovery of new resources and adoption of modern technologies, which offered opportunities to the people for sustainable development.

He said the aim was to provide a reliable and sustainable clean energy with the target of giving the people the chance to develop.

Mr Daniele said the partnership would ensure that the project became a success, adding that they were in Ghana to ensure access to clean cooking facilities to people in their communities.

He stated that the reliance of the people to the traditional way of cooking was harmful for the households in terms of pollution and health, stating that it also caused degradation and deforestation.

The Managing Director said that the project would encourage local businesses and also provide jobs to the people in the communities.

Madam Carmen Bruce-Annan, Manager Sustainability of GNPC said solid fuels such as wood caused a lot of pollution, respiratory illnesses, heart problems and sometimes fatalities and that annually, indoor pollution caused more than four million premature deaths with 50 per cent of these deaths being under age of five”.

Madam Bruce-Annan said the initiative was timely and that they were excited about the benefits the pilot could bring including; the reduction of harmful emissions into the atmosphere and increase in efficiency and improvement in the livelihoods of Ghanaians.

Ms Adwoa Sey, Chairperson for Ghana Alliance for Clean Cooking, congratulated ENI and the World Bank for the Project and pledged its support to help impact on the lives of women as they do most of the cooking.

Also present were representatives from the government agencies, private sector, Ministry of Local Government, Mr Kwasi Bonzoh, District Chief Executive of Ellembelle, Awulae Amihere Kpaninli, Paramount Chief of Eastern Nzema Traditional Area, technocrats, researchers, Civil Society Organisations and others.

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