The Second Lady, Mrs. Samira Bawumia has been unveiled as an Ambassador for Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves at a colourful ceremony, Thursday.
Mrs. Bawumia joins former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan; Academy Award-winning actor, Julia Roberts; and Grammy Award nominee, Rocky Dawuni to work with the Alliance and its partners to raise awareness on household air pollution and encourage broader adoption of clean cooking solutions in developing countries.
The use of open fires and traditional cookstoves and fuels is one of the world’s most pressing health and environmental problems. Globally, three billion people rely on solid fuels to cook, causing serious environmental and health impacts that disproportionally affect women and children. According to the World Health Organization, household air pollution from cooking kills over 4 million people every year and sickens millions more.
Speaking at the event held at the Accra International Conference Centre, Mrs. Bawumia said the number of lives claimed through pollution was alarming and was therefore prudent to put measures in place to save lives.
“In Ghana alone, seventeen thousand people die. It’s unacceptable. And out of this seventeen thousand, two thousand, two hundred are young children. They die of all sorts of avoidable diseases so I’m passionate about this. We want to help this nation and by helping the nation, we want a healthy nation and no death that is avoidable should be allowed to occur,” she noted.
Highlighting what the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves has done to this effect, Mrs. Bawumia mentioned among other things “supporting enterprise development through the Alliance Pack Fund to foster investment-ready entrepreneurs through capacity building and the Alliance Catalytic Small Grant facility; partnering with Ministry of Petroleum, National Petroleum Authority, and Global LPG Partnership to develop and implement a new cylinder recirculation LPG policy.”
The mother of four pledged to help Global Alliance increase the use of cleaner cooking solutions through diverse means.
“I also want to advocate for tax reduction for enterprises producing agricultural biomass pellets and briquettes so that that’s a more energy efficient way of cooking. We also want to support those in the industry who are producing charcoal but we want to do it differently. We want to help farm woodlots so these woodlots will supply the raw materials for the charcoal and the firewood. So instead of falling these economic trees, we want to actually farm the woodlots and that serves as the raw material for the charcoal production” she said while calling on all to join in the realization of the dream.
Fellow Ghanaian and Alliance ambassador, Rocky Dawuni welcomed the Second Lady and said he looked forward to working with her in Ghana and beyond.
“Far too many people in Ghana and around the world still cook over open fires and with heavily polluting fuels. Mrs Bawumia will be a strong ally in our work to improve health, empower women, and protect the environment, and I look forward to joining her as an Alliance Ambassador,” Dawuni said.
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (Alliance), hosted by the UN Foundation, is at the forefront of efforts to promote the adoption of clean cooking solutions and spur universal adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels. Launched in September 2010 by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Alliance has an ambitious 10-year goal to foster the adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels in 100 million households by 2020.
Source: Beenie Words