By, King A. Wellington
Petroleum Minister, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah has entreated Ghanaians to delink the ongoing Rural LPG Promotion Programme (RLPGPP) from politics because Government aims to reduce deforestation and provide cleaner, healthier and safer form of cooking fuel.
Mr. Buah, made this known during the launch of the RLPGPP in Busunya a suburb of Nkoranza North district.
Speaking at the event, he stressed on the need for Ghanaians to see the exercise as a National programme rather than a political one because
“Government, under the leadership of His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama has put in place measures to increase access to LPG from 3percent in 2012, to 50% percent by 2020” he said.
According to the Minister, this is the first phase of the exercise, hence Atebubu-Amantin, Nkoranza North, Nkoranza South and Pru are the beneficiary districts receiving 2000 LPG cylinders, cook stoves and related accessories each making a total of 8000. He added that, “A massive distribution exercise will be carried out next year by Government to enable most rural dwellers switch to LPG”.
When asked how Government intents to increase LPG supply in the country, the minister indicated that “the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant, aside from delivering over 100mmscf of lean gas a day for thermal plants at Aboadze for power generation is also producing 500 tons of LPG a day for the domestic market” he said. “The plant is also on track to produce more than 180,000 metric tons of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) per year which amounts to over 50 percent of the present estimated 360,000 metric tons annual LPG national demand” he added.
Before taking his seat, he advocated for the safe use of LPG and noted that the Ministry of Petroleum together with the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has intensified its public awareness programme which is intended to educate the general public on how to use LPG safely. “As Government is increasing domestic LPG supply, making LPG accessible to Ghanaians and, creating wealth and employment opportunities for Ghanaians, there is the need to advocate for the safe use of LPG in our homes and at all refill outlets,” he added.
In Ghana, it is estimated that about 13,700 deaths occur every year as a result of smoke related illnesses. In 2010, Household Air Pollution (HAP) from solid fuels was the third leading risk factor for global disease burden. Furthermore, approximately 13 million tons of firewood is burnt annually in Ghana. These have various effects on both human life and the environment. In line with this, “one can understand why Government is working vigorously to provide us with cleaner, healthier and safer form of cooking fuel and on behalf of the people of Nkoranza I want to say Ayekoo (Thank you) to Government” one of the beneficiaries said.
Similar distribution exercise was carried out by the Ministry of Petroleum in the three Northern Regions, Central, Western and Brong Ahafo Regions last year and early this year. So far, Government has distributed approximately 49,000 cylinders in these Regions.