Accra, March 8, GNA – Thirty community-based
peer educators in the Ga West Municipality have been trained and equipped with
requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes in clean cooking energy.
They would educate their peers on the hazards of using traditional cookstoves, and the benefits of switching to cleaner and more efficient cookstoves.
The clean cookstoves are to protect users from exposure to smoke from the traditional way of using fuelwood and charcoal thereby preserving the forest from depletion.
The three-day workshop drew participants mostly women from Sapeiman, Akotoshie, Pokuase, New Achimota, Odumase and Kuntunse in the Ga West District in the Greater Accra Region.
They were trained using a structured manual with practical sessions in community entry, peer education, clean cookstoves usage and its effect on the environment, climate, forests and health of end-users in the country.
It was part of the ongoing Integrated School Project on Clean Cooking Energy (INSPOCCE) project being funded by the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstove (GACC) with requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes in Clean Cooking Energy.
It is being implemented by World Education Incorporated (WEI), a private voluntary organisation based in Boston, Massachusetts, with a mission to meet the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged populations through social and economic development programmes.
The Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ghana Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GHACCO) are key partners working closely with WEI.
Madam Adwoa Etsiwaa Sey, the Project Coordinator of INSPOCCE from World Education in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said the workshop was a follow-up to a successful one held for school-based children peer educators.
This would enable the children in basic schools to educate their peers and parents on clean cooking.
Mr Lovans Owusu-Takyi, the Director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy and Environmental Solutions, asked the participants to perceive the initiative of clean cookstove as an opportunity to start their own businesses as distributors of the product, to create employment for themselves.
He said as community volunteers there was the need to sensitise the people and also become sales agents as well whilst urging them to use the chance to increase adoption of clean cookstoves in the District.
Madam Sarah Naa Dedei Agbey, the Vice Chairperson of the Ghana All+iance for Clean Cookstoves, (GHACCO) said the community-based peer education programme was a good way of creating awareness for the benefits of users of the clean cookstoves to drive adoption.
She said the initiative was in line with the objectives of the GHACCO to adopt five million cookstoves by the year 2020 in Ghana.
Madam Agbey called for support from development partners to replicate the programme in various districts in the country to drive the adoption of clean cookstoves.
Mr Christian Osafo, the Communications Director of GACC of the United Nations Foundation, the sponsors of the programme said the peer education on clean cooking energy falls within the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal ‘7’.
He said it was critical to create the awareness and help to scale up access to cleaner and more efficient cookstoves in Ghana since it was being replicated in other parts of the world.
Madam Dorothy Kyeraah, a participant from Sapeiman expressed gratitude to the organisers and sponsors of the programme for the insightful and the practical training given them on clean cooking.
She said hitherto she did not know much about the hazards of the traditional cooking practices, but now she had been educated and equipped to become an ambassador of the clean cookstove to help bring about change in the communities.