As part of Governments efforts to reduce deforestation and provide a cleaner, healthier and safer form of cooking fuel, the Petroleum Minister, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, last Friday lunched the Rural LPG Promotion Programme at Savelugu in the Northern Region.
The lunch is a continuation of similar distribution exercise that was carried out in Nzema East, Ellembelle and Jomoro District in the month of March and May respectively, this year.
Savelugu, Gushiegu and Saboba, are the beneficiary districts.
The goal of the Rural LPG Promotion Programme is to address the challenges associated with the use of solid fuel including reversing the detrimental effect of the continuous burning of more than 13 million tons of firewood annually, reducing respiratory diseases acquired from the firewood and also saving our mothers and children from drudgery and the dangers of fetching firewood in reptile infested areas.
Under the programme, government is distributing 50,000 free cylinders, cook stoves and all related accessories to beneficiaries in low access and low income areas in districts across the nation. This is done to enable rural dwellers switch easily from wood fuels to LPG without paying for the initial investment costs.
The Petroleum Minister, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, indicated that Government seeks to create demand in these low access areas to incentivize private LPG marketing companies to set up their facilities in the region, and to create wealth and employment opportunities for Ghanaians to ensure domestic LPG produced at the Atuabo Gas Processing plant benefits all Ghanaians.
The Ministry, will be partnering with LPG marketing companies and local dealers to facilitate the setting up of mini-refill plants in these low access districts to guarantee the constant supply and safety of refilled LPG cylinders in a cylinder recirculation model.
The Ministry also expects to improve and increase access to LPG in rural areas from the 3% in 2012 to 15 percent by the end of 2016.
Ensuring that Governments effort does not be in vain, the Minister advised beneficiaries not to revert to the use of firewood and charcoal.
Finally, the Minister entreats all users of LPG cylinders and stoves to adhere to the basic safety precautions necessary to ensure optimum safety and security.