The National Petroleum Authority(NPA) public has urged the public avoid using charcoal and firewood as fuel for cooking to protect their health and stop degrading the environment. Instead , a Deputy Chief Executive officer of the Authority, Mr. Perry Okudzeto, who made the call, said people should use LPG as it was safer, cleaner, and healthier fuel for cooking. He said the reduction in the use of firewood and charcoal for cooking would decrease the inordinate felling and burning of trees for the production of charcoal. That would 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 sensitization durbar in Sukura, a suburb of Accra. Representatives of the Oil Sustainability Programme (OSP) of Saudi Arabia attended the community engagement to observe the proceedings. Officials of the Ghana National Fire and Rescue Service provided education on the safe use of LPG and did simulations on how to put out the fire. Mr. Okudzeto noted that the world was currently shifting toward the transition of energy supplies from fossil fuels to renewables due to climate change concerns. He said gas had 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 to poor households.’ However, the NPA Deputy CE said LPG uptake in the country was low, around 37 percent, and must be actively promoted. He said biomass such as firewood and charcoal were popularly used for cooking in most homes in 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), the government had committed to providing modern, efficient, clean, reliable, and cost-effective energy for households, businesses, industries, and institutions. In this regard, the cleanest and more accessible alternative to biomass is LPG. He said it was in that vein that the NPA had initiated an LPG sensitization and awareness campaign to encourage the use of LPG for domestic, commercial, and industrial activities is laudable. That, he said, would be anchored on the implementation of the Cylinder Recirculation Model (CRM) by the NPA to ensure that 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 would prevent accidents associated with the current LPG distribution model and facilitate access to the product. Besides, she said, it would provide opportunities for businesses such as the establishment of LPG exchange points and transportation of filled cylinders to customers. The Director of Downstream at the Ministry of Energy, Mr. Ali Abeka Nuhu, affirmed the commitment of the ministry to support efforts at promoting the use.
Source: Ghana News Agency