The first-ever Woodstove Festival ended over the weekend with a call on Ghanaians to use the improved woodstove to reduce smoke emissions and deforestation.
The festival showcased cultural activities, a culinary, scientific and artistic exhibition, which attracted more than 500 visitors to the premises of the Energy Commission in Accra.
The Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), in partnership with the Energy Commission (EC) and the Ghana Alliance for clean cook stoves, organized the festival to draw attention to the woodstoves.
Mr. Enno Heijndermans, SNV Renewable Energy Sector leader in Ghana, who is also the initiator of the programme, said 40 per cent of households, still use firewood for cooking, which described as not efficient and emits a lot of smoke.
He said the use of local stoves had also contributed to deforestation, waste of money and time and negatively impacts the health of their users.
He said the Woodstove Festival had showed that improved cook stoves are available and that different entrepreneurs and institutions are working to further improve it.
He noted that the improved woodstoves can serve as an intermediate step to clean and convenient cooking fuels like Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
Mr. Amagoin Keita, SNV Country Director, in his opening remarks said SNV Ghana, is focusing on promoting improved cook stoves for agro industries dominated by women, such as fish smoking; shear butter production and the brewing of local beer.
He advised Ghanaians to adopt the use of improved woodstoves to reduce the exposure to fuel wood smoke and contribute to combating deforestation, and assured that SNV was ready to host the second woodstove festival next year.
Mr Kwesi Sappong, West African Representative of the Global Alliance, who congratulated the participants on behalf of Mrs. Hilary Clinton, the chairperson of the Global Alliance Leadership Council, suggested that next year’s festival be extended to include other clean cook stoves such as charcoal stoves.
Dr Ofosu Ahenkorah, Executive Director of Energy Commission, who expressed gratitude to SNV, said his outfit will support clean cooking and expressed the hope that the festival becomes an annual event.