Mr Julius Awaregya, the Director of Organization for Indigenous Initiatives and Sustainability (ORGIIS), has called on Districts and Municipal Assemblies in the Upper East Region to fund clean cooking issues.
He suggested that the Assemblies include in their Medium Term Development Plans (MTDP) and budgets, clean cooking issues and take it up as a separate concern.
He said the Assemblies were presently putting environmental issues under sanitation in their budgets and that made it difficult to address the issues that were not related to sanitation.
Mr Awaregya who made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Paga in the Kassena Nankana West District, stressed the need for a holistic approach to promoting clean cooking and protecting the environment.
He said lumping budgets up as it was being done presently would over shadow important interventions that seek to improve the health of women and girls, and the environment.
He therefore called for the need to decouple budgets and make room to address clean cooking issues to ensure that more responsive actions are taken to address the clean cooking agenda in communities.
The ORGIIS is advocating for clean cooking and reduction of environmental hazards related to felling of trees and cooking with charcoal. It is working with the Kassena Nankana West District, Kansena Nankana Municipality and their sub- structures and the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) to advocate for inclusion of clean cooking into budgets.
The Director congratulated the Kassena Nankana Municipality for including clean cooking in their budgets and noted that some of the assemblies were still in the process of adopting it.
He lauded the collaboration with the Navrongo Research Centre, for supporting communities in the district with innovative and efficient biomass cook stoves and LPG stoves at subsidized rates whilst ORGISS ensured sensitization, monitoring and recovery of money.
Ms. Ivon Wonchua, the Administrative Officer and focal person on clean cooking at the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), in an interview acknowledged the efforts of ORGISS and noted that further engagements will be done with the assemblies to increase interest and support for the intervention.
Ghana’s clean cook sector provides lots of opportunities for adoption of clean cooking and under the Sustainable Energy Action Plan for all by 2012.
Ghana prioritized acceleration of sustainable access to clean modern energy for households and ensured productive uses as a means of achieving accelerated growth that is shared through job creation and poverty reduction.
However continuous reports of house hold pollution continue to increase and according to WHO statistics, 80,000 lives globally are lost annually from ambient and household pollution with most attributed to the forms of cooking that contribute to health hazards and pollution of environment.
A Dutch NGO, SNV, in partnership with ORGISS and other CSOs in Ghana are working together in the Voice for Change Programme (V4CP) focusing on evidence-based advocacy for an enabling environment.