As part of a focused campaign to raise public awareness and promote clean cooking technologies in Ghana, World Education Incorporation (WEI), a US‐based non‐profit organization, has organised two demonstration fairs at Amasaman.
The fairs which took place at Kutunse and Sarpeiman in the Ga West Municipal district in the Greater Accra Region was a collaboration between WEI, The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves & Fuels (GHACCO) and the Ghana Education Service (GES).
The Sarpeiman program took place at the chiefs’ Palace on September 16, while the Asaawa demonstration was held at the Pobi Taxi rank on September 21.
These are the two communities in which the Integrated School Project on Clean Cook Energy (INSPOCCE) Pilot Project is being implemented.
The event brought together the manufacturers of the various improved cookstove brands to exhibit their products and also engage the communities in discussions on the benefits of adopting clean and efficient cookstoves.
The participants were made up of staff from WEI, chief of Sarpeiman, Assemblyman and woman from the two electoral areas and Reps from Amasaman.
Others were GES officials, Municipal education office staff, manufacturers of cookstoves, GHACCO, Teachers and students from the implementing schools and community members.
The Assembly man and woman for the two electoral areas were the conveners for the two fairs.
At each fair, Adwoa Etsiwaa Sey, the Project Coordinator for INSPOCCE engaged participants in discussions on the health, socioeconomic and environmental benefits of using clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels.
Reps from the Education Unit, the assemblyman and woman and GHACCO took turns to address participants and engaged them in discussions on cookstoves and fuels.
Stoves were given away as prizes for people who were able to answer pertinent questions on cookstoves and fuels. For the rest of the program, there was a demonstration on all stoves assembled, which the participants observed with keen interest.
Being an election year, political party hopefuls in the electoral areas came to speak with their constituents, encouraging them to make the switch from the traditional stoves to cleaner and more efficient methods.
They made initial down payments for participants who wanted to transition to using the cleaner and efficient cookstoves.
Convinced about the benefits of the cookstoves, some participants purchased from the variety of products on sale.
The INSPOCCE Project Coordinator noted: “Cooking a meal is a major global health and environmental issue, as well as a significant barrier to sustainable economic development”.
“Though cleaner and more efficient cooking technologies have been developed, they are often out of reach for families in developing countries due to cost or lack of availability in their local marketplace”.
She added: “demonstration fairs such as this would help to get prospective users of cookstoves interested and excited about the product. It is also an effective way of addressing their specific product-related concerns”.
The literature on clean energy indicates: “These stoves can help accomplish many international development objectives, such as improving health; reducing environmental degradation; mitigating climate change; fostering economic growth; and empowering women”.
Founded in 1951, WEI works to meet the needs of the educationally disadvantaged, and has worked in over 50 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, as well as in the United States.
GHACCO is a public-private partnership hosted by the UN Foundation to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and protect the environment by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions.
GES, is the body responsible for the coordination of the national education policy on pre-tertiary education.