The Ghana Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and Fuels (GHACCO) has called on the Government for a comprehensive and dedicated national policy on clean cookstoves and fuels sector in Ghana.
According to GHACCO, the passage of the policy would contribute significantly to the work of its members to help address the numerous challenges facing them and to also provide an effective mechanism to ensure the inclusion of clean cooking activities in the national development agenda.
Mrs Sarah Naa Deidei Agbey, the Chairperson of the GHACCO Board, made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at the inauguration of a high level working group including government representation, corporate executives and development partners in Accra.
It was jointly organised by the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) and the Dutch Enterprise Development Agency (RVO) under the Energising Development programme, which would provide an 18-month “Strategic Support to the Clean Cooking Sector in Ghana.”
Mrs Agbey said the group would facilitate the development of requisite legislative policy and the implementation of guidelines to ensure an improved business environment for stakeholders in the private clean cookstove sector. She said inadequate support for the sector such as; adequate budgetary allocation for programmes, weak structures resulting in inefficient marketing and promotion and low demand by the rural folks, was among the most pressing challenges facing the players in the industry.
The Chairperson said the passage of the national policy was long overdue and therefore called on the members of the working group to expedite the processes for the engagement of stakeholders.
She also urged the group to focus on the key advocacy issues and digest them to make effective inputs that would serve as a basis for achieving the aims and objectives of GHACCO.
“We have to ensure what we do must go down well with the people, drumming the issues of their health problems and the benefits of clean cooking to save lives,” she said.
Mr Alex Kwame Donyinah of the SNV and a facilitator urged GHACCO members to continue with their advocacy programmes in the communities to expand access to the clean cooking within the country. He said about 70 percent of the rural people still used biomass as their source of cooking without looking at the health implication associated with it and the depletion of the forest.
Mr Donyinah called for a broader stakeholders’ consultation and to speed up the process of developing the national policy to ensure that it addressed the challenges facing the sector.
He raised some of the issues such as; GHACCO not feasible enough within the stakeholders to support actors who engaged in clean cooking market development to build an enabling environment and urged the GHACCO members to strengthen their administration and operations, develop market innovation strategies and offer support packages which would assist in the expansion of their operations.
Mr Mohammed Aminu Lukumanu, the Chief Executive Officer of GHACCO, urged the high level working group to mobilize support for the clean cooking sector and engage in networking, coordination and inter-connect for cohesive value chain strategies to achieve collective aim.
(BY GHANA NEWS AGENCY )