Ghana: Energy Ministry Distributes 500 Gas Cylinders at Axim

The Minister for Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, has launched the Rural LPG Promotion Programme with the distribution of 5,000 pieces of 6 kilogramme cylinders and cooking stoves at Axim in the Nzema East District of the Western Region.

The Rural LPG Promotion Programme was first launched at Garu-Tempane in the Upper East Region in November 2013, where 1,500 pieces of 6kg cylinders and cooking stoves were distributed on a pilot basis. The roll-out of the programme was started in 2014 with the distribution of cylinders and cooking stoves in the Tano South, Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam, Tolon and Central Gonja districts. In all, 14,500 pieces of 6kg cylinders, cooking stoves and related accessories have been distributed in five low access districts so far. The programme is expected to be intensified, and massive distribution exercises carried out in low access and low income rural areas nationwide in 2015 and beyond.

Under the programme, the government distributes free cylinders, cooking stoves and all related accessories to beneficiaries in low access and low income areas in districts across the country. This is done to enable rural dwellers switch easily from wood fuels to LPG without paying for the initial investment costs. The government seeks to create demand in these low access areas to incentivise private LPG marketing companies to set up there. Launching the programme at Axim last week Friday, the Minister indicated that the Rural LPG Promotion Programme is targeted at addressing the challenges associated with the use of solid fuels, including reversing the detrimental effect of the continuous burning of the more than 13 million tonnes of firewood annually; reducing respiratory diseases acquired from the firewood, and saving mothers and children from the dangers of fetching firewood and drudgery. “It is expected that the programme will improve and increase access to LPG in rural areas from the current 3% in 2012 to 15% by 2016,” he added. Mr. Buah also announced that the government was revising its policies to implement a National LPG Accelerated Promotion Programme, which will deploy two main separate but integrated approaches to distribution of LPG: Constructing major refilling facilities in strategic areas that should be determined by the Ministry of Petroleum, and setting up small scale refilling outlets to serve rural/low income areas identified as low access areas nationwide.