This article first appeared in AllAfrica News
- The bulk of wood fuels amounting to 90 percent are obtained directly from the natural forest. The remaining 10 percent is from wood waste that is logging and sawmill residue, and planted forests.
- Wood fuel resources are depleting at a faster rate as a result of unsustainable practices in the production and marketing of the product that incurs high levels of waste. According to the FAO, the rate of deforestation in Ghana is 3% per year.
- Subsidies on the price of LPG and other petroleum products in the country were withdrawn last year.
By Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh, 27 January 2014
Charcoal sellers and producers are cashing in on the soaring Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) price. The LPG currently hovers around GH¢40 per 14.5 kilogram on the Ghanaian market.
The National Petroleum Authority (NPA), regulator of the petroleum downstream industry in Ghana recently increased LPG price by 8.73 percent in January 2014, as against 3% in June last year.
The surged in the LPG price has compelled many Ghanaians to revert to the use of charcoal and firewood for energy source. Also, subsidies on the price of LPG and other petroleum products in the country were withdrawn last year.
The subsidies used to serve as a measure to get majority of the population to shift from charcoal and firewood to LPG, with the aim of conserving the forests to help mitigate global warming.
These, economists and environmentalists say are defeating the purpose for which government introduced the domestic use of LPG in the 1980s.
Staggering statistics made available from the United Nations (UN) Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) indicated that about 69% of all urban households in Ghana use charcoal for cooking and heating, and the annual per capita consumption are around 180 kg. The total annual consumption is about 700,000 tonnes, 30% of which is consumed in Accra, Ghana’s capital.
In its report entitled: “Woodfuel Use in Ghana: An Outlook for the Future’, the Renewable Energy Division of the Energy Commission, added that bulk of energy supply in Ghana is met from woodfuels notably firewood and charcoal. Woodfuels account for about 71±1 % of total primary energy supply and about 60 percent of the final energy demand.