The Renewable Directorate of the Ministry of Energy has disclosed that it is actively pursuing measures to attain the distribution of 500,000 efficient biomass cookstoves to over 350,000 households in the country by 2024.
This was revealed by the Senior Programmes Officer of the directorate, Doris Duodu, when officials from the Ministry of Energy led some media personnel on a tour of the Rekoff Company at Joma Ablekuma in the Ga West District of the Greater Accra Region, which has been engaged by the Ministry to produce the cookstoves.
According to Ms. Duodu, the Improved Cookstoves Distribution Project is a collaboration between Ministry of Energy and the Climate Change Centre (CCC) of South Korea and covers production and distribution of 500,000 stoves between 2019 and 2024 at the total cost of $5.5 million.
“The project targets low-income households in urban and peri-urban communities nationwide”, she said.
According to a Senior Official of Rekoff Co Ltd, Mr. Francis Kugblenu, who conducted the team around the premises to observe and explain the manufacturing process, the company produces about 500 units of the cookstoves per day, with a work force of 100, majority of whom are women.
He further stated that the company’s activities have helped create several jobs in the catchment area, thereby boosting the local economy.
Mr. Kugblenu explained that sand is hardened into a mould in the shape of a stove which is normally obtained from either the Volta Region or Central Region.
With the aid of some mortar, the mould is then set in a cookstove manufactured with metal sheets that have been hammered into shape, resembling a traditional coal pot.
Ms. Duodu explained that there are several other production outlets engaged by the Ministry for the production of cookstoves, and that each of these cookstoves is accorded a serial number to enable easier tracking from production to warehouse as part of the accountability process.
Ms. Duodu further revealed that under the 5-year project (2019 to 2024), 413,792 improved cookstoves have been produced so far, with 374,130 distributed so far, whilst stolen and damaged ones amount to about 3,002.
The team further visited households in the vicinity, where some people, particularly women, have been beneficiaries of the improved cookstoves, in order to ascertain their benefits.
Unanimously, the view among those interviewed was that these cookstoves had brought theme enormous benefits as they no longer have to deal with harmful smoke emissions and that financially, the cookstoves had enabled them save considerable amount of money as they now use far less charcoal for the same amount of fuel.
Ms. Duodu expressed the optimism that the Ministry will be able to meet its targets and help create further awareness of the immense environmental and other benefits of the improved cookstoves.