Accra, April 7, GNA - The West African Clean Cooking Alliance (WACCA) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREE) has trained artisans in Ghana on institutional cook stoves construction.
The training is aimed at empowering artisans, producers and manufacturers in new and innovative ways of constructing clean cookstoves in the ECOWAS sub-region to achieve WACCA's objectives of bringing clean, safe and affordable cooking energy solutions to the entire population by 2030.
It brought together cookstoves artisans from Anglophone West African countries, including Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Ghana and was organised in collaboration with the Ghana Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GHACCO) in Accra.
Mr Bah Saho, a Programme Officer of ECREE told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that about 80 percent of the people in the ECOWAS region still relied on traditional biomass as their primary cooking fuel, hence the need for the workshop to access critical energy situation and the way forward.
He said in some West African countries, biomass based fuels (firewood and Charcoal) represent more than 90 percent of the households' energy needs, especially in rural and peri-urban areas.
He said the prevalence of biomass based fuel for cooking using inefficient stoves such as the three stone fire had been identified as one of the leading causes for deforestation, which
was the main drivers for climate change.
Mr Saho expressed regret that the use of traditional cookstoves also contributed to over four million premature deaths per year globally, adding that, mostly women and children bore
the burden of cooking due to indoor-air pollution.
''To address these challenges, ECREE was committed to ensuring the promotion and installation of clean and efficient cookstoves for households and institutions and support to artisans, producers and distributors to able to reduce fuel wood consumption and health risk associated with it.'' He said.
Mr John Yeboah, A Coordinator of WACCA, said ECREE and its partners launched WACCA initiative in October 2012, to support wide distribution of efficient, affordable, sustainable and safe cooking fuels and devices to the ECOWAS population.
He said the training was designed to enable the participants to see the possibilities out there using modern innovation in cookstove production as a case study and living proof of success
in the industry.
Mr Lovans Owusu-Takyi, a participants from the Institute for Sustainable Energy and Environmental Solution (ISEES), told the GNA that he was impressed with the practical skills, designing and construction of cookstoves that used palm kernel chaff and firewood for cooking in institutions.
Mr Tapsir Ibrahim, from Sierra Leone, also told the GNA 'we learnt a lot of improved and innovative designs of institutional firewood stoves that will be useful for schools in the rural
''I hope to go back to promote these innovative stoves and facilitate its installation for my people,'' he said.