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The Ghana Alliance for Cookstoves and Fuel (GHACCO), cookstoves producers, has donated assorted clean and improved cookstoves and fuel to the Ghana Education Service (GES) in Accra to support this year’s Cook Art Competition.
The donation is aimed at supporting the competition being organised by the GES as part of the National Cultural Festival in Sunyani from August 26 to 29 August.
It is also to facilitate awareness creation and education on clean cooking in basic and senior high schools.
The items donated are 55 charcoal based stoves such as, Toyola, Enviroft, Gyapa, Man and Man, and clean cookmate.
Others are Elsa stoves, which uses palm kernel shells and pellets, cooking bags and 12 packets of bamboo charcoal briquettes.
Mrs Sarah Naa Dedei Agbey, Vice-Chairperson of GHACCO in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said: ‘’We are committed to create awareness among the youth, women, men, and children on the importance of using clean and improved cookstoves and fuel for their daily cooking.
‘’It is important because the use of traditional cookstoves wastes biomass (firewood and charcoal), and exposes women and children to hazardous smoke emissions, which have serious effects on their health.”
She said exposure to smoke, according to the World Health Organisation report had caused more than four million deaths worldwide and about 13,400 death in Ghana each year.
She said it also causes premature death and contributes to a range of illnesses such as, Pneumonia, Bronchitis, Cataracts, lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, Low birth weight and burns.
She bemoaned the over-reliance on the traditional cookstoves for cooking, which forces women to spend many hours each week collecting firewood as unhealthy, because it also increases pressure on the natural resources and contributes to climate change and deforestation.
She added: ’’This implies a huge loss of biodiversity and a major damage to the ecosystem, not only exacerbating the threat to species survival significantly, but also threatening food and water security for the human population, drought and flooding as deforestation increases.’’
She urged Ghanaians to embrace clean and improved cookstoves initiative since it saves lives, empower women, create job opportunities and reduces negative environmental impacts.
She said it allows for more time to engage in income generating activities and educational opportunities.
Mrs Agbey said GHACCO in collaboration with Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, Based in the United States, World Education International and the GES, have begun a campaign to educate school children on the importance of using clean cookstoves and fuel to engineer a attitudinal change on the present traditional cooking practices.
Mr Edward Asare, Welfare Officer of the GES, who received the item, expressed gratitude to GHACCO for supporting the cook art competition for this year.