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Abibiman Foundation in collaboration with SNV Ghana, Ghana Alliance for Clean Cookstoves GHACCO), Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and other stakeholders organized a one day event to commemorate  international women’s day which was held  on the 11th March,2014 at Barkuman, Tema New Town in the Tema Metropolis.

The theme of the International Women’s Day is “Fighting Climate Change-The Role of Women”.

The event was held with three (3) main objectives which include:

  1.  To highlight the critical linkages between Women and Girls and the cooking sector using the case of fish mongers at Tema New Town, Ghana.
  2. To inspire change by engaging Ghanaian women to fight climate change through the promotion of the use of improved clean cookstoves; an effective technology in reducing the use of firewood for cooking since improved cookstoves save lives.
  3. To improve livelihoods, empower women, and protect the environment by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solution.

In a welcome address by the CEO of Abibimman Foundation, Mr. Kenneth Amoateng thank the women of Tema New Town and all stakeholders in the sector for their participation in joining Abibimman Foundation to celebrate International Women’s Day. He reiterated Abibimman commitment to continue empowering women to be self reliant and urge women of Tema New Town especially the fish mongers to embrace change by adopting the new improved cookstoves being introduced by SNV Ghana because is energy efficient, it reduces the quantity of firewood, hence protecting the environment from degradation and reduces the health risk associated with the chorkor stoves.

In a speech delivered by the CEO of ANOMENA Ventures on behalf of Ghana Alliance for Clean Cookstoves(GHACCO), Dr. Sabinna Mensah introduced participants to the objective of the programme and stated that this programme was earmark to commemorate international women’s day which seeks to educate the women of Tema New Town on the impact of climate change and  the introduction of improved cookstoves which is energy efficient and  reduces the quantity of firewood use and hence reducing the cost the spend on firewood to cater for their children ‘schools fees. She also urge the gradual adoption and introduction of LPG.

In a statement read on behalf on SNV Ghana, Mr. Emmanuel Aziebor Introduced to the women the concept of Improved Fish Smoking Stove and urged them to embrace the idea of the project since it will help in the fight against climate change and promote conservation of our forest reserve because the quantity of firewood used for fish smoking will be significantly reduced. According to him, the role women play in the society is very significant and hence acceptance for the improved cookstoves for women of Tema New Town will help protect the environment and also reduces the effects of smoke.

In a statement delivered by the Head of Department for Community Development of TMA informed women of the community about the programmes the department runs in the Tema Metropolis and stated that her outfit organizes income generation activities for both men and women groups. They also organized group meetings; mass meetings in collaboration with MASSLOC in order to enable the groups obtain loans from MASLOC for their work. She also touched on issues such as the Improved Fish Smoking Stove and encourages the women of Tema New Town to embrace the improved cookstove because is climate change friendly and does not pose any threat to their health as compare to the chorkor stove. In her statement, she urged the women to absorb 50% of the total cost while SNV Ghana pay the remaining 50%.

In a statement delivered by the chairman of the coalition of NGOs in Tema (CONGOT), Dr. Elvis Donkor informed the participants that fish mongers were exposed to health hazards such as respiratory diseases due to excessive inhalation of smoke from the chokor stove manufacture with poor materials. He also use the occasion to encourage the women to move from the chokor stove to the SNV Ghana improved Fish Smoking Stove for fish smoking which will also improve their standard of living.

In a presentation by the Project Assistant, Mrs. Benedicta Samey and Emmanuel Kwateng took turns and demonstrated the household stoves and Improved Fish Smoking Stove. According to Mrs. Benedicta, This project is part of SNV Ghana renewable Energy intervention which is intended to be implemented for duration of two years along the coastal fishing areas of Ghana.

According to her, a survey that was conducted by SNV Ghana, along the coast of Ghana last year estimate an average of over 33,000 fish smoking stoves which are in constant used of an average of 5 days every week. She noted that SNV Ghana intend to build about 400 improved fish smoking stoves which will help reduce mangrove and fuelwood consumption, reduce production cost associated with fish smoking and reduced exposure to firewood smoke. She also informed the women that the introduction of the improved fish smoking stove will help improved livelihood of fish smoking entrepreneurs and also reduced deforestation and degradation of mangrove forests in coastal areas in Ghana

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