The public has been urged to avoid using charcoal and firewood as fuel for cooking to protect their health and stop degrading the environment.
Deputy Chief Executive-National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Perry Okudzeto, made the call and said people should rather use LPG as it is a safer, cleaner and healthier fuel for cooking.
He said a reduction in the use of firewood and charcoal for cooking would greatly decrease the inordinate felling and burning of trees for producing charcoal.
This will reduce the number of harmful substances released into the atmosphere, curb rapid deforestation and ultimately save the country’s forest cover.
Mr. Okudzeto was speaking at an LPG sensitisation durbar at Sukura, a suburb of Accra, on Monday.
Representatives from the Oil Sustainability Programme (OSP) of Saudi Arabia attended the community engagement to observe proceedings. Officials of the Ghana National Fire and Rescue Service provided education on safe use of LPG and did simulations of how to put out a fire.
Mr. Okudzeto noted that the world is currently shifting toward a transition of energy supplies from fossil fuels to renewables, due to climate change concerns.
He said gas has been accepted as the transition fuel, and LPG is the most dependable transition cooking fuel – especially for homes as “it provides health, environmental and economic benefits, especially for poor households”.
However, the NPA Deputy CE said LPG uptake in the country is low, around 37 percent, and must be actively promoted.
He said biomass such as firewood and charcoal are popularly used for cooking in most homes of the country.
Mr. Okudzeto said in line with the energy sector’s global and continental development agendas (United Nations Sustainable Goals 7, 11, and 13), government has committed to providing modern, efficient, clean, reliable and cost-effective energy for households, businesses, industries and institutions.
In this regard, the cleanest and most accessible alternative to biomass is LPG. He said it is in this vein that the NPA-initiated LPG sensitisation and awareness campaign to encourage using LPG for domestic, commercial and industrial activities is laudable.
This, he said, will be anchored on implementation of the Cylinder Recirculation Model (CRM) by the NPA to ensure at least 50 percent of Ghanaians have access to safe, clean and environmentally-friendly LPG by 2030.
The Director of Policy Coordination, Dr. Sheila Addo, indicated that the CRM will prevent accidents associated with the current LPG distribution model and facilitate access to the product.
Besides, she said, it will provide opportunities for businesses – such as establishing LPG exchange points and transporting filled cylinders to customers.
The Director of Downstream at the Ministry of Energy, Mr. Ali Abeka Nuhu, affirmed the ministry’s commitment to supporting efforts aimed at promoting use of LPG in the country.