As a global champion for the Clean Cooking Alliance and the Health and Energy Platform for Action (HEPA) of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Second Lady, Samira Bawumia, had cause to be excited as she launched the nationwide LPG Awareness and Sensitisation Campaign yesterday.
The role of clean energy, and for that matter, Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) in our part of the world at a time when climate change is taking its toll on global environment, is crucial and cannot be consigned to the backburner.
LPG penetration has still not reached the level we wish it to be. Many do not still appreciate the use of LPG in cooking having taken it for granted. Some even consider it an option for the elites or the rich, their reasons hinged upon the prohibitive cost of the clean energy source.
It is our hope that the launch, a second attempt at encouraging the use of this energy option nationwide by the relevant agencies, would have enrolled many more onto the domestic use LPG platform especially, in rural Ghana.
It will take a lot of efforts and coaxing to get the rural folks to migrate from wood fuel to clean energy as represented by LPG.
Energy poverty, as the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) CEO, Dr. Mustapha Hamid, described the situation posed by the dearth of purchasing power to acquire not only the stoves but the LPG to power the gadgets, is a major disincentive to the efforts at upping the use of this alternative.
The initial LPG use campaign did not go as far as officialdom would have wanted it to be hence this fresh attempt. For many, even when the cost of inputs such as the stoves, cylinders and the LPG were relatively less expensive, they found the costs prohibitive and therefore, stuck to the environmental destructive wood energy source.
The joint NPA and the Energy Ministry’s launch intended to sensitise more Ghanaians can only succeed when besides the awareness creation about the advantages, about the cleanness of LPG, the prices of LPG and the inputs fall within the reach of the ordinary Ghanaian.
Times are unusually hard, the fallouts from the external shocks we are currently enduring, and so, we are unable to have government subsidise the cost of LPG use. That notwithstanding, we would wish that something is done about the cost of LPG so the rural folks can come on board.
Unless this is done, our forests would continue to serve as sources of wood fuel and of course providing an unwanted impetus for climate change.
We can only hope that the cylinder recirculation programme (CRM), among other interventions and yesterday’s launch, would convince more Ghanaians about the great dividends which come with LPG use.