Eni Ghana and the World Bank last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop initiatives that promote access to improved domestic wood-fuel cook-stoves, resulting in reduced exposure to unhealthy wood-smoke and decreased pressure on the depletion of forest resources.
The initiatives will contribute to government’s strategy for ensuring universal access to modern, clean and safe energy sources by 2030, through the adoption of a pioneering cooperation model between a multilateral organisation and the private sector.
Under the MoU, Eni Ghana with its partners in the OCTP project – Vitol Upstream Ghana and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation – will collaborate with the World Bank in a pilot project to be developed at 10 coastal communities of the Western Region – namely Sanzule, Krisan, Eikwe, Bakanta, Atuabo, Asemda, Ngalekyi, Ngalekpole, Baku and Anokye in the Ellembelle district – for a total population estimated at about 13,000 individuals.
The pilot project will assess the most suitable technology and design for domestic wood-fuel cook-stoves as well as the related business model, ensuring their production and/or distribution in rural areas. Based on these findings, a 2-year scheme aiming to ensure availability of improved domestic wood-fuel cook-stoves will be developed, endorsed by local stakeholders, and implemented.
Eni Ghana’s Managing Director, Roberto Daniele. Commented: “This MoU will enable Eni Ghana, the World Bank and coastal communities in the Western Region to benefit from each other’s experiences, resources and added value to find effective, sustainable long-term solutions to concrete environmental and social issues. Also, this fits into Eni’s strategy to leverage international best practices through strategic partnerships with national and international organisations, institutions and agencies”.
World Bank Country Director Pierre Laporte stated: “Universal access to clean and modern cooking solutions in Ghana is an integral element of ensuring that the broader aims of SDG 7 — ‘Universal Access to Modern Energy Services for All’ — are achieved by 2030. Thankfully, the critical challenge of closing the gap of access to clean cooking solutions for unreached populations is now taking centre-stage. This involves the Government of Ghana, members of the Development Community, Civil Society and Private Sector Actors toward agenda 2030.
“Though ambitious, we believe that there is room to make significant progress – through stronger partnerships that can create scalable opportunities to improve millions of lives. The World Bank is supporting development of the National Clean Cooking Strategy to serve as a roadmap and catalyst for a thriving clean cooking sector in Ghana. This partnership will serve as a pilot toward the support from the World Bank to the government of Ghana”.
Recent evidence from the Ghana Alliance for clean cook-stoves and fuels shows that 70% of households are using wood-fuel for cooking, with a higher percentage in rural areas. As Ghana is making the transition from a country whose population is predominantly rural to one that is increasingly urban, finding ways to increase cooking efficiency and cleanliness for both urban and rural areas presents a true challenge.
The government of Ghana (GoG) has committed to provide modern energy services for its population, under both the Paris Accord and the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative. Already being among the higher percentage of populations in sub-Saharan Africa connected to the electricity grid (between 75% to 85%), the GoG intends to put most of the efforts into the clean cooking sector.
Consequently, one of the GoG’s priorities is to expand the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for cooking. Second is to reduce exposure to the unhealthy wood-smoke from traditional wood-based cooking devices. And third is to reduce reliance on charcoal and reduce forest pressure.