In a bid to create public awareness of the benefits of clean cooking, officials of the Ministry of Energy led some media personnel on a tour of the Rekoff Company at Joma Ablekuma in the Ga West District of the Greater Accra Region, which has been engaged by the Ministry to produce biomass cookstoves.
This tour is pursuant to the Ministry’s target to attain the distribution of 500,000 efficient biomass cookstoves to over 350,000 households in the country between 2019 and 2024, primarily targeting low-income households in urban and peri-urban communities nationwide.
According to Ing Seth Mahu, Director, of the renewable Energy Directorate of the Ministry, the Improved Cookstoves Distribution Project is a US$5million collaboration between Ministry of Energy and the Climate Change Centre (CCC) of South Korea.
A senior official of Rekoff Co Ltd, Mr. Francis Kugblenu, conducted the team around the premises to observe and explain the manufacturing process. According to him, the company produces about 500 units of the cookstoves per day, with a work force of 100, majority of whom are women. He further stated that the company’s activities have helped create several jobs in the catchment area, thereby boosting the local economy.
Mr. Kugblenu explained that sand is hardened into a mould in the shape of a stove which is normally obtained from either the Volta Region or Central Region. With the aid of some mortar, the mould is then set in a cookstove manufactured with metal sheets that have been hammered into shape, resembling a traditional coal pot. Each stove is allocated a serial number to identify and track it throughout the various stages up to distribution.
The project has so far completed distribution in the Greater Accra , Ashanti, Central Regions covering Ninety-four (94) districts, Nine Hundred and Seventy- Seven (977) communities with an allocation of Three hundred and sixteen thousand ,six hundred and seven (316,607) stoves. Fiurther, about fifty-seven thousand one hundred and seventy (57,170) stoves have been distributed in the Western, Northern, Upper East, and Volta regions, according to Ing. Mahu.
He expressed the Ministry’s satisfaction with the output of the various establishments engaged for the production process under the project.
The team further visited households in the vicinity, where some people, particularly women, have been beneficiaries of the improved cookstoves, in order to ascertain their benefits. Unanimously, the view among those interviewed was that these cookstoves had brought theme enormous benefits as they no longer have to deal with harmful smoke emissions and that financially, the cookstoves had enabled them save considerable amount of money as they now use far less charcoal for the same amount of fuel.
Ing. Mahu further stated that clean cooking is important in ensuring the protection of the environment and listed cleaner air, improved health in respect of respiratory-related diseases, reduction of pressure on the forest, significant firewood and charcoal savings and substantial savings of more than one million tonnes of CO2 emissions as some of the immense benefits of the improved cookstoves, and pledged that the Ministry will continue to pursue its targets to ensure that the country benefits significantly from the project.