World Education Ghana, a private voluntary organisation dedicated to improving the lives of the poor through targeted programmes, has partnered the Ghana Education Service (GES) and Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves to organise a dissemination forum on the Integrated School Project on Clean Cook Energy (INSPOCCE) in Accra.
The one-day forum also brought together other stakeholders, including the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), EPA, WHO, the Ghana Alliance for Clean cookstoves and fuels, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Private Sector, the Energy Commission, implementing schools and the Amasaman Municipal Education Directorate among others to discuss issues relating to INSPOCCE, a project that is currently being piloted in eight communities (Kuntunse, Akotoshie, Pokuase, Ga Odumase, Fise, New Achimota and Sapeiman) in the Ga West Municipality of the Greater Accra Region.
The project seeks to address Ghana's long-standing cooking energy challenge, and builds on new opportunities for transforming the cooking sector. It is designed to educate and encourage communities to shift from the traditional stove, and create awareness for the usage and adoption of clean and efficient cook stoves and fuels in households across the country.
Speaking at the forum, the Country Director for World Education Inc., Mrs. Susan Adu-Aryee, said, the GES, in partnership with the stakeholders, must collectively work for the review of the school curriculum to introduce clean cooking energy right from Kindergarten, through Primary to the Senior High schools.
She, thus, called for periodic research and development to help scale up the project through Public Private Partnership (PPP) to attract the needed financial support.
According to her, pollution and the health hazards of the traditional cookstoves and fuels are on the ascendancy, thus, the need to step up advocacy on clean cooking stoves significantly and to make information and skills easily accessible to the public.
“Clean cooking stoves and fuels play an important role in the environment,” she said, , “they help greatly to reduce the impact of climate change, as well as global warming.”
Dr. Emmanuel Tachie Obeng of the Climate Change Unit of the Environment Protection Agency said climate change is the greatest threat to society, and pointed out that the persistent usage of wood fuel is also a factor, as well as the burning of wood fuels.
He charged the government to support players in the environmental sector to develop strategies in addressing and finding methods which can be integrated into the school curriculum.
Dr. Emmanuel Obeng called on manufacturers of the clean cooked stoves to design them in line with the laid down specicifications to suit households, adding that it will prevent people from using the old method of cooking with fire wood.
“Our doors are open to all for discussions on funding to support manufacturers,” he said, and, again, urged stakeholders to collaborate with the Agency to enable it have clear data on clean cooking stoves.
The Acting Director, Curriculum Unit, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, Alhaji Seidu Mahama, said the government is working fervently to fully integrate the concept into the curriculum, and called for concerted efforts to make clean cooking solutions a priority. He called for more stakeholder involvement in the school project to enable GES deliver according to the mandate of the curriculum.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Anomena Ventures, Dr. Sabina Anokye Mensah, said her outfit produces clean cooking stoves, but challenged by the low purchasing power of consumers, therefore, she called on government to introduce subsidy to make the stoves affordable.
“The production is designed for those who cannot afford LPG and to fulfill government commitment to prevent people from using wood fuel for cooking,” she stressed, and reminded the public of the long-term health implications of using traditional stoves.
Mr. Frank Fabian Aidoo, TVET Coordinator, Ga West Municipal Education Office, Amasaman, said their students and community peer educators on INSPOCCE have done a good work on the advocacy, as people are switching preferences to the new cooking stoves, which emit less smoke.
Mr. Kwasi Sarpong Regional Market Manager, Global Alliance for Clean Cook Stoves urged all stakeholders to come onboard to help drive the project to success. He also, called on the government to include clean cooking stoves in its flagship programme, One District, One Factory Initiative and advocated for increased public and private partnerships to roll out the project across the country.
Miss Adwoa Etsiwaa Sey, Project Coordinator for INSPOCCE said that with a continued focus and targeted implementation efforts, clean cooking can directly deliver gains across 10 of the SDGs and contribute to an enabling environment for achieving the entire Agenda 2030.
World Education Inc. has worked in more than 50 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, as well as in the United States.