Second Lady of Ghana, Samira Bawumia has revealed that about 13,000 people die annually from household pollution, mainly from the use of firewood and charcoal in many households. To curb this unfortunate trend, Mrs Bawumia is urging Ghanaians to resort to the use of National Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
Speaking at a stakeholders’ engagement forum organized by the NPA in Accra, Mrs Bawumia who was the guest speaker said, “Today, 71% of our population rely on biomass for cooking and by biomass, we are talking about charcoal and firewood. This has significant health impacts. An estimated 13,000 Ghanaians die annually from household air pollution alone which includes 3,000 children”.
“To alleviate these challenges, government has introduced Cylinder Recirculation Model which would provide direction on marketing and distribution of LPG in a safe and efficient manner while facilitating an increase in access to LPG nationwide… Let us all advocate for LPG usage and safety issues especially in the wind of explosions in the country,” she added.
According to her, the “LPG is an environmentally friendly source of energy for domestic, commercial and industrial consumption. However, access to LPG, the high cost of investment, and issues of safety on LPG distribution and its usage have been an issue of public discourse”.
For low income earners to be part of this Cylinder Recirculation Model, there would be cylinders of 3kg, 6kg, 12kg they can purchase for domestic use.
At the same forum, the Deputy Minister of Energy, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam stated that, “510 stations across the country classifying high risk LPG retail outlets and representing 77.4% will have their stations now converted into cylinder distributions centres, whiles those that have been classified as low risk stations will be considered as auto gas refilling centres only that would improve standards.”
He added that, for the safety, health and security of the public, there would be structures in place to ensure that appropriate systems are enforced to guide the process in implementing the policy.
Government has developed a new LPG policy which is aimed at curbing explosions, ensuring stringent monitoring mechanisms and also to create more job opportunities in the country.
The policy is to ensure that 50% of Ghanaians have access to safe, clean and environmentally friendly LPG for domestic, commercial and industrial usage by 2030.
The Cylinder Recirculation Model aims at filling LPG cylinders at bottling plants and then supply the filled cylinders to consumers at specialized retail outlets.
With this policy, the consumer exchanges his empty cylinder for a filled one at the exchange point.
The LPG Distribution Company will operate on behalf of LPGMC by operating auto gas facilities, manage safety and regulatory protocols and customer relations.
The company will also be responsible for supplying auto gas outlet, bulk commercial customers, owning and branding cylinders, transporting filled and empty cylinders, managing the entire supply chain between bottling plant, consumers and maintenance of cylinders.