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6,500 Ghanaians die annually due to exposure to air pollution – WHO

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More than 6,500 lives are lost annually in Ghana as a result of exposure to air pollution caused by use of inefficient cook-stoves and fuels,  a report by the World Health Organisation had announced.

Eighty-seven per cent of the three billion people worldwide who annually rely on such inefficient traditional energy source to cook, are adversely affected by air household pollution, the report added.

Mrs Radha Muthiah, Executive Director of Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, disclosed this on Thursday at the launch of the Ghana Sustainable Energy for All Country Action Plan (GSE4ALL) in Accra.

The Action Plan which was officially launched by Dr Mustapha Ahmed, Deputy Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, was developed by the Energy Commission in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and with technical support from the United Nations Development Programme, Ghana.

The document was to ensure universal access to modern energy for cooking and productive use of energy by 2020.

It also outlines specific solutions and prioritised actions to accelerate the achievement of universal access to modern energy services, double the rate of improvements in energy efficiency and the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030.

The GSE4ALL is said to represent the Country Action Plan Implementation and Monitoring Plan and the cost estimates of the prioritised interventions under the Plan.

Mrs Muthiah observed that women were mostly impacted by the negative effects of cooking on open fires and traditional cookstoves because of their responsibilities as cooks and managers of their households.

She pledged the Alliance’s commitments towards supporting government’s advocacy efforts encourage innovation, improve access and quality of cookstove and to ensure that women were economically empowered.

The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public-private partnership that seeks to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions.

Clean cooking solutions are cookstove technologies, fuels, equipment, and practices that address the health and environmental impacts associated with traditional cookstoves.

Ms Ruby Sandhu-Rojon, UN Resident Coordinator, called for strong partnerships to be developed among institutions, agencies and civil society groups to ensure effective implementation of the action plan work.

She added that sustainable development as well as issues of gender needed to be addressed.

Professor Abeeku Brew-Hammond, Board Chairman of the Energy Commission, called on stakeholders to demonstrate commitment for successful roll out of the project.

Source: GNA

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