Decreased deforestation through efficient cooking stoves
all regions, GHANA*
Marketing of efficient cookstoves covers almost every region in Ghana. Among these are two of the biggest cities, Accra and Kumasi, which are alone responsible for almost 60% of national charcoal consumption.
The project activity consists of selling around 240,000 efficient cookstoves. In comparison to traditional charcoal ovens, these new models reduce fuel use by 35-50%. With one of these stoves, a single household could save on average 300kg of charcoal annually, which in turn saves money.
Another benefit is that an increase in efficiency means that the oven reaches higher temperatures; ensuring that the charcoal is burnt more efficiently. This thus reduces the risk of carbon monoxide emissions, which can be deadly if too much is inhaled.
These new stoves create a significantly healthier living environment for households. Three quarters of Ghana‘s energy demand is met through wood and charcoal. Per capita use of coal is around 180kg every year and the total annual consumption reaches around 700,000tons. To produce a single kilo of charcoal, around 6kg of wood is needed. This means that deforestation is occuring at a much quicker rate than the forest is growing, resulting in an ever decreasing forest stock. The journey to collect fuelwood creates a threat to surrounding areas/forests and even those that are far away from settlements.
The use of inefficient cook stoves presents not just an environmental problem but also causes a range of serious health problems. Women and children are particularly vulnerable due to their high amount of time spent cooking. The inhalation of smoke from the stoves is the equivalent to smoking two packets of cigarettes perday and can lead to serious respiratory illnesses. Respiratory illnesses are responsible for about 22,000 adult deaths every year. Smoke can also cause damage to eyesight and stunt the growth of children.
Expected supply gap for cocoa and coffee.
Like the entire African continent, Ghana is affected by climate change. Temperatures in Ghana will continue to rise in the future, the amount of rain in the rainy season and the drought in the dry season will increase and cause socio-economic damage. Ghana in general, but especially the savannah belt to the north, is exposed to floods, droughts and bush fires.
According to studies, the threatening overturning of entire ecosystems in the global south would hit the growing areas of many tropical crops hard. Over the past five years, cocoa bean crop yields in Ghana - one of the most important growing areas for this crop - have declined by around 30 percent. Climate change in the region is cited as the central cause of these crop losses, as this leads to strong weather fluctuations that affect the sensitive cocoa plants. The more and more frequent lack of rain leads to failures as well as increasing heavy rain, which is accompanied by fungal infestation.
By the middle of the century, around 90 percent of the acreage in Ghana and the Ivory Coast could no longer be suitable for cultivating cocoa beans. Since these two West African countries generate around 60 percent of global cocoa production, there is a threat of a supply gap as early as 2030, according to the CIAT. In the case of coffee, around half of the acreage is threatened to be lost in the coming decades, according to a forecast published in 2019 by the World Coffee Research Institute. The most important current coffee-growing areas could be destroyed by climate change, which is already disrupting the sensitive climatic equilibrium in the growing areas.