EPA Takes Step to Reduce Harmful Exposure to Pollutants
…Conducts Training on Eco-Stoves Production
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Liberia in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) conducted a three-day training workshop on the production of energy efficient cooking -stoves to reduce concentrations of kitchens pollutants, harmful exposures and emissions of Green House Gas (GHGs) and forest loss in Liberia.
The training was held in Gbarnga, Bong County from October 6-8, 2018, with the aim to promote eco-stoves’ production and as well raise awareness on the needs and benefits of using eco-stoves, which are energy efficient.
According to Liberia Initial National Communication (INC) on climate change submitted to the UNFCCC in 2013, the country’s total national GHG emissions for 2000 was estimated to be 8,022 Gg of equivalent CO2, with the energy sector accounting for about 67.5% of the national total.
In its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) submitted in 2015, Liberia committed to reduce Green House Gas (GHGs) by at least 10% by 2030 and improve energy efficiency by at least 20%.
The country also agreed to raise share of renewable energy to at least 30% of electricity production and 10% of overall energy consumption by 2030 and replace cooking stoves with low thermal efficiency (5-10%) with the higher-efficiency (40%) stoves.
One of Liberia’s planned mitigation action is to produce and distribute 280,543 energy saving cook stoves that use fuel wood and 308,004 energy saving cook stoves that use charcoal by 2030
Liberia’s decision is based on sufficient studies, which have concluded that indoor air pollution (IAP) is a risk factor for acute respiratory infections, chronic obstructive lung disease, tuberculosis, lung cancer, low birth weight and cataracts.
Much of the country’s population relies on solid biomass fuels for cooking, but the use of these fuels in simple, unvented cook-stoves is the principle cause of elevated indoor air pollution levels, apart from its contributions to green-house gas emissions and deforestation.
But, EPA Media and Communication Specialist, Danise Love Dennis said improved biomass cooking stoves have the potential to reduce concentrations of pollutants in kitchens, reduce harmful exposures and reduce emissions of GHG and forest loss.
According to her, it is against this backdrop, the EPA with support of the UNDP’s NAPs Project organized the training, to support the production and use of eco-stove, as a source of income and livelihood.
For his part Mr. E. Abraham Tumbey, NAP project coordinator said, the training captured 40 vulnerable women and disadvantaged youth with limited or no access to income from five populated cities including Gbarnga, Monrovia, Buchanan, Kakata, and Ganta.
“The capacity of participants including vulnerable women will be built to adapt new source of income and livelihood from eco-stove production and sales,” he said.
At the end of the training, Mr. Randell M. Dobayou, Deputy Executive Director for EPA presented 50 eco-stoves to participants. He asked participants to further distribute among households as trained eco-stove producers in helping to raise awareness on the needs and benefits of using energy efficient cooking stoves in the country.
The newly trained eco-stove producers in return thanked the EPA and UNDP for training them on the production of the eco-stove which they believe will help them to reduce cost and to a larger extent managing the forest to avoid climatic casualty.
The training was funded by the Green Climate Fund, under the auspices of the National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) of the UNDP which supports the Government of Liberia to advance its national adaptation plans process in climate sensitive sectors and focuses on strengthening institutional frameworks and coordination for the implementation of the NAP process.