Gov’t Pushing More Households To Use Gas By 2020—Foreign Minister

The Ghana government is making every effort to ensure that by 2020 most Ghanaian households will use gas for their cooking in order to promote their health and to reduce the negative effect of the climate change.

According to The Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister, Ms. Hannah Tetteh, this accounts for the government’s investment of $800million in the construction of gas pipelines.

The Minister was contributing to a discussion at two-day Cookstove Future Summit in New York. The summit was meant to create global awareness of household air pollution and the benefits of clean workstoves and fuels.

The goal of the summit which attracted people from all over the world is to ensure that 100 million households adopt clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020.

In furtherance of this move, she said government had improved the regulatory framework on cookstoves apart for encouraging the use of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas cylinders for their cooking instead of wood fuel.

The issue of clean cookstoves is capturing the attention of the world because the inefficient method of cooking produces harmful black carbon that affects the health of the women and girls, apart from its disastrous consequences on the environment.

The reliance on clean cooking methods, she said will make the women and girls lead healthier lives and therefore urged the participants to give it every support considering the added benefits to the environment.

In this direction, Ms. Tetteh renewed her call on the private sector to invest heavily in the cookstove venture, since that will make the world a better place to live in .

Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former United States Secretary of State noted that research had shown that harmful smoke was the fourth leading cause of death in the world.

In addition, she said the black carbon produced by cooking over open flames emitted poisons that affect millions of women daily, so there was the urgent need to get households to switch to the use of clean cookstoves.

Expressing concern that as many as three billlion people worldwide still cooked their meals in dirty fire or used inefficient methods that affect their health, Mrs Clintion, who is chair of the Leadership Council said every effort must made be to protect them and the environment.

“We need to have most culturally acceptable ways of cooking, by listening to the women who will use the cookstoves, and more so, when they are the entrepreneurs in the value chain; she explained.

Baroness Lindsay Northover, Parliamentary Under Secretary for International Development, United Kingdom asserted that clean cooking solutions is critical to sustainable development, considering the fact that it always prevents the burns and blindness and other dangers the women are subjected to as a result of the use of inefficient cooking methods.

To this end, she announced that the United Kingdom will commit $50 million to the clean cookstoves project, mainly to improve the lives of women and girls.

At his turn, Mr. Borge Brende, Norwegian Foreign Affairs Minister said more than three billion people worldwide still relied on solid fuel to cook despite the dangers involved like breathing harmful smoke.

He therefore wondered how many more people should suffer from air pollution before the world sits up,adding that ” How many more are we waiting to die, suffer from inefficient cooking practices before we say no to the wholesale air pollution”.

On his part, Dr, Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said the success of the summit was an affirmation of what a determined people in government, private sector, civil society among other groups can do to save the lives of men and women.

He noted that 20 per cent of black carbon comes from inefficient cooking and indicated that the US will invest $200 million to develop and test drive the ground breaking cookstoves.

Ms. Kath Calvin, Chief Executive Officer of the United Nations Foundation and Chair of the Advisory Council, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.

galvanized the participants to do everything possible to achieve their target since the summit was tactically relevant to their current needs of ensuring that people cooked with clean cookstoves to protect the environment.

For the past four years, the Global Alliance has been able to encourage 20 households to adopt more efficient cookstoves.

There were various pledges from the participants to contribute in various ways to achieve the targets set.

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