The district is the third to benefit from the programme which is aimed at distributing 50,000 cook stoves and cylinders in low access rural districts to discourage the use of wood as source of fuel in order to minimize and eventually eradicate the harmful effects that continuous burning of firewood has on the environment.
The Chief Director of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum (MOEP), Professor Thomas Akabzaa, addressing a durbar of chiefs and people of Ajumako to launch the promotion in the district, said the programme was in line with the vision of President John Dramani Mahama to make LPG accessible to every citizen of Ghana.
He said the MOEP was pursuing the promotion of LPG especially through the Rural LPG promotion programme as its flagship programme in 2014 and in the next three years.
Prof Akabzaa said 5,500 pieces of cylinders with cook stoves and accessories had been distributed and that out of the number, Garu-Tempane in the Upper East Region, the first beneficiary of the programme on pilot bases, received 1,500 pieces and 4,000 pieces were distributed in the Tano South District of the Brong- Ahafo Region.
He said a monitoring and evaluation exercise conducted in these areas showed that beneficiaries were impressed with the programme and had embraced the use of LPG as a cleaner, safer and efficient form of cooking fuel.
Prof. Akabzaa said the ministry was assured of the sustainability of the programme because of effective collaboration with its sector agencies such as Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company (GCMC), National Petroleum Authority, Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company and the Energy Commission.
He said the Ministry and the National Petroleum Authority were directly engaging LPG marketing companies and local dealers to facilitate the setting up of mini –refill plants in identified low access areas and that plans were in place to ensure that identified local dealers such as Maxx Gas and Days Gas worked with the GCMC to bring enough LPG cylinders and cook stoves to all.
The Chief Director said the ministry, in its efforts to increase access and consumption of LPG, was working with relevant stakeholders to come up with guidelines and regulations to reintroduce the cylinder recirculation model, popularly known as the Coca Cola model, where major oil marketing companies owned cylinders and supplied LPG to consumers.
Prof Akabzaa urged local dealers and businessmen to take advantage of business opportunities provided and expand the LPG business to the reach of all areas in the district by setting up mini refill outlets and vending points in very remote areas.
He said the country had sufficient supply of LPG and the completion of the gas processing plant at Atuabo would ensure a constant flow of LPG and appealed to beneficiaries not to revert to the use of firewood and charcoal else the government’s efforts would be in vain.
The District Chief Executive, Mr. Peter Light-Koomson, said because of climate change caused by some harmful activities of humans such as the feeling of tress for charcoal production , it had become difficult to predict the weather and that the district as part of efforts to help avert the phenomenon was undertaking a tree planting exercise .
Mary Thompson, a beneficiary and a fried egg seller, lauded the programme saying it would enhance her business and domestic life but appealed to the government to ensure that there is a constant supply of LPG else most beneficiaries would be compelled to revert to the use of charcoal and firewood.
She also appealed that beneficiaries especially in the very remote areas, who would be using the stoves for the first time, are given adequate education on the use of the LPG to ensure their safety else more harm would be caused than the good intended.