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GHACCO Holds Workshop On LPG In Accra   
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The Ghana Alliance for Clean Cook Stoves (GHACCO) in collaboration with Global Alliance for Clean Cook Stoves and fuels, have organized a workshop on advocacy to provide a platform for the wider stakeholder energy community to discuss critical issues in the LPG sector.

Nearly 2m people mostly women and children are said to die prematurely from exposure to smoke from inefficient open fires each year. Most makes the statistic more frightening is that, most people are unaware of this.

Until the introduction of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as an alternative fuel for domestic use, more than 70 per cent of households in Ghana used charcoal and firewood for cooking and 6,500 die from exposure to cookstove smoke every year, including 4,700 children.

Even with the introduction of LPG, many households still rely on charcoal and firewood.

The workshop aimed at bringing producers, distributers and users of LPG products together to brainstorm the challenges and opportunities in the Ghanaian LPG sector. The event also focused on ways to ensure a vibrant cookstove sector in Ghana that provides adequate access and efficient utilization of clean and improved cook stoves in Ghana.

Speaking at the workshop, the Deputy Director of the Petroleum Directorate at the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Kwame Bona Siriboe, disclosed that the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, in collaboration with the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and other private institutions are constructing a 10 inch LPG pipeline from Tema Jetty to Tema Oil Refinery.

The move is to add to the existing 6-inch pipeline to increase the rate of discharge of LPG from vessels to storage tanks. 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 expressed hope that the initiative would bring up rural access levels towards the achievement of a total nationwide usage of 50%.

Mr Kwesi Sarpong, Regional Market Manager for Global Alliance for Clean Cook Stoves urged Ghanaians, especially rural dwellers, to readily adopt the use of LPG. He said access to cleaner fuels such as LPG for domestic cooking and heating reduces women’s exposure to harmful indoor air pollution.

An Energy Consultant, Wisdom Ahiataku Togobo said, initiatives such as the production of Ahinbenso Coalpot and Gyapa Energy Conservation Projects must be revived, encouraged and promoted for end users to appreciate the benefits that come with it. According to Mr Togobo , if women were educated on the negative impact of smoke from open fires 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 depleted.

The workshop was heavily attended by stakeholders from UNDP, GIZ, US embassy, Forestry Commission and many more allied agencies and NGO. By making LPG more widely available and accessible the social and economic benefits will be huge reducing deforestation, allowing more family time, save children time to attend school along with developing and improving local businesses and livelihoods.
Source: Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

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