One of the most dangerous things many Ghanaians do each day is cook. Nearly eight out of 10 people in Ghana prepare their food over toxic, smoky fires using solid fuels.
The resulting emissions are responsible for over 1,000 deaths every month, with children and women the most impacted. cooking this way also can also cause widespread environmental damage, and the time spent cooking and gathering fuel can add up to as much as five hours per day.
This issue impacts people far beyond Ghana, as more than 3 billion people worldwide rely on similar fires and rudimentary cookstoves to prepare their meals.
The good news is a diverse group of people and organizations from across Ghana and from around the world is working to end this under-reported crisis. Many of those same people will be in Accra this week as Ghana hosts more than 400 clean cooking advocates and experts from 28 countries at the Clean Cooking Forum 2015.
The bi-annual event, being held for the first time in West Africa, is part of a global movement to address the cooking issue by creating a thriving market for clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels. It will be an opportunity to raise awareness, highlight progress, and outline solutions for Ghana and other countries being impacted by this deadly issue.
“Ghana has taken significant steps to increase access to cleaner, more efficient cookstoves and fuels, making it a fitting place to celebrate the growing momentum in the sector,” said Radha Muthiah, CEO of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, which is co-hosting the Forum.
“We’re excited to join our many partners in Ghana who have shown how the comprehensive approach supported by the Alliance and enhanced by a wide variety of in-country stakeholders can deliver on its full potential and help us ensure that cooking no longer kills.”
Muthiah says the Ghana Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GHACCO), a co-host of the Clean Cooking Forum 2015, is one of the many local partners helping to drive Ghana’s clean cookstoves sector forward.
Led by Board Chairman Nicholas Manu, who is also CEO of stove manufacturer CleanCook, the Accra-based organization is focused on partnership building, awareness raising, and advocacy.
Organizations like GHACCO are also working with the private sector, as well as with supportive government leaders such as Minister of Petroleum Emmanuel Buah and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hanna Tetteh, to ensure the right infrastructure is in place to support Ghana’s growing cookstoves and fuels market. Ghana’s own Rocky Dawuni, an Ambassador for the Global Alliance, is also strong advocate on the issue and will be performing at the Forum.
All these efforts are paying off. In a recent Global Alliance report Five-Years of Impact, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was quoted saying, “For too long, cooking has been a silent killer in developing countries around the world. Finally, we are seeing a growing momentum around this issue. Thanks to the Alliance and its many partners, millions more people are now using clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels. We must continue to build on this new momentum and ensure solving this global problem remains a global priority.”
The Forum will be hosted in Accra and run from November 10th through November 13th.
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