The Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Dr. Mustapha Abdul Hamid, has urged Ghanaians to reduce the usage of firewood and charcoal to the barest minimum such that the environment can sustain their harmful effects.
He says although NPA is fully aware that the usage of charcoal and firewood cannot be eliminated completely, it could be reduced to the barest minimum.
He was speaking at the launch of this year’s Consumer Awareness Week in Takoradi last Friday under the theme “LPG clean cooking, healthy lifestyle.”
The celebration is aimed at educating the public on their rights and responsibilities as regards the safe use of petroleum products, and it is being followed with a week-long media sensitization across the country.
The paramount chief of Esikado traditional area, Nana Kobena Nketsiah V, presided over the launch, which was graced by many traditional, religious and political leaders in the Western Region.
Dr. Mustapha Hamid reiterated that besides saving Ghanaians from some health hazards, a reduction in the use of firewood and charcoal for cooking will greatly decrease the inordinate felling of trees.
He said it would also reduce the number of substances released into the atmosphere, curb rapid deforestation, and ultimately save the country’s forest cover.
He was unhappy that a lot of Ghanaians continued to use charcoal and firewood for cooking because of fear associated with the use of LPG.
Cylinder Recirculation Model
The NPA boss assured Ghanaians that they now have nothing to fear when using LPG because the issue of safety has been high on the agenda of President Akufo-Addo’s government. This has culminated in the introduction and implementation of the Cylinder Recirculation Model, which seeks to develop a market-driven structure to increase access to LPG to 50 per cent by the year 2030.
He said the Cylinder Recirculation policy is also to ensure the existence of robust and standard health, safety, and environmental practices in the production, marketing and consumption of LPG.
Dr. Mustapha Hamid said the NPA, in collaboration with the Ghana National Fire Service, had intensified public education on the safe use and handling of LPG as part of measures to eliminate LPG related accidents.
He said LPG consumption in Ghana had considerably increased and that an average of 228,000 metric tons are produced every year from 2010 to date, representing eight percent of the total average petroleum products.
He indicated that consumption of LPG increased to 305,000 metric tons in 2020 and is expected to reach 1.2 million tons by 2030.
This, he said, indicates that Ghanaians are beginning to accept LPG as convenient and cheaper fuel but ought to be constantly reminded on how to use it safely.