The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Ghana is to co-manage, protect and enhance the country's environment, as well as seek common solutions to global environmental problems. The accomplishment of the mission is to be achieved inter alia through: an integrated environmental planning and management system established on a broad base of public participation, efficient implementation of appropriate programmes and technical services, giving good counsel on environmental management as well as effective and consistent enforcement of environmental laws and regulations. Though much energy is being exerted on outdoor air pollution quality monitoring in Ghana, indoor air pollution monitoring is also being carried out by the EPA on a smaller scale. The EPA of Ghana plans to carry out extensive indoor air quality monitoring soon. As part of the Clean Air Initiative for Sub-Saharan Africa and the EPA's 5-year strategic action plan which includes air pollution management, the Ministry of Energy, the EPA and EnterpriseWorks of Ghana will soon carry out a pilot project which is expected to be funded by the Shell Foundation. The project aims to produce and supply improved stoves for the rural/peri urban population; and assess and monitor indoor air pollution in the country.
Ghana. Target populations: Rural, peri urban and urban. The initiative will be community based.
Our Experience And Interest In The Four PCIA Central Focus Areas
Much of the traditional Ghanaian cooking requires fairly constant attention and vigorous stirring while heating. This often means the cook is bent over the pot and sometimes immersed in the smoke of the fire. Women who cook with traditional fuels like firewood often complain of the time it takes to clean the black soot that sticks to their pots, an indicator of the poor quality of air surrounding the stoves. The EPA in collaboration with EnterpriseWorks educates households on the dangers of IAP, and on simple, low or no cost measures to reduce IAP. This is done to make them aware of the dangers of IAP; and to enable them to change their behaviour in order to reduce exposure. Drama and information dissemination days are set aside, along with social and other marketing activities at markets and other gathering points and occasions.
Currently EnterpriseWorks has developed an improved stove (gyapa stoves) which is being promoted at urban, peri-urban and rural areas at an affordable price. Efforts are being made by EPA Ghana to study the efficiency of these stoves and assess their health and environment related impacts. Marketing campaigns are rigorously being executed throughout the country. The purpose for the campaign is to increase awareness about the benefits of using improved stoves, and where to obtain them. As part of this effort, profitable commercialised outlets have been established at various parts of the country.
EPA Ghana lacks technology standardisation for cooking, heating and ventilation. The EPA's interest in this area is to build the capacity of its staff in technology standardisation for cooking, heating and ventilation.
Currently EPA as part of her mandate undertakes investigation and compliance monitoring of indoor air pollution. However indoor air pollution exposure levels and health monitoring in vulnerable groups like children and women is yet to be conducted. These areas are of interest to EPA Ghana since no studies have been done in this area. The situation could be alarming since the majority of our rural and peri-urban inhabitants use poorly constructed stoves, and firewood and charcoal as energy sources.
Relevant Publications or Studies
Our Contribution to the Partnership
The EPA Ghana wishes to contibute to the partnership in the following ways: 1. To encourage local enterpreneures to design improved and reliable stoves in Ghana, which are adapted to local cooking conditions. 2. To collaborate with other organisations who are pioneers in the design of improved stoves to meet local needs. 3. Participate in inter-institutional/organisational training and research into improved stoves, health risk and exposure assessments using standardised equipment. 4. Provision of expertise to needy organisations in the area of indoor air pollution management. 5. Exchange of information and sharing of research findings with partners.