Ghana commissions Cookstove Testing and Expertise Lab in Kumasi

Mar 31, 2015

A cookstove testing facility at KNUST for Ghana's Northern sector (Photo credit: Bossman Owusu, UNDP in Ghana)

A partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the Energy Commission of Ghana has yielded a Cookstove Testing and Expertise Laboratory to serve the Northern sector of Ghana. The facility was jointly commissioned by the Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. William Otoo Ellis and the UNDP Country Director, Mr. Dominic Sam in a brief ceremony in Kumasi on Tuesday, March 31, 2015.
 
The laboratory, which will be operated by the Technology Consultancy Centre of the KNUST, is a major boost for Ghana’s quest to promote the manufacturing of improved cookstoves and stimulate their demand, under a UNDP partnership with the Energy Commission within the framework of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.

In his remarks to welcome participants to the event, the Vice Chancellor of the KNUST, Prof William Otoo Ellis, praised UNDP for providing an amount of US$ 100,000 to fund the facility. He noted that the laboratory comes at a time when Ghana is working to improve the efficiency of the more than 100,000 cookstoves distributed in the country to reduce deforestation and improve the health of consumers.
 
On his part, the UNDP Country Director, Mr. Dominic Sam said it is heartwarming to note that this laboratory will not only be used for testing purposes, but also, create an avenue for research and development to continually improve the design and manufacture of improved cookstoves in Ghana. He commended the KNUST and the Energy Commission for advancing an initiative that provides a solution to one of Ghana’s development challenge, saying, it demonstrates the power and value of partnerships between academia and government.

The provision of the laboratory comes on the heels of a recent study commissioned by UNDP and SNV that showed that cookstove testing facilities are not available to 47% of manufactures while the few that test their stoves do not follow any standard protocols. This facility will therefore become a central point for manufacturers, as the data generated from the tests will enable them to improve the efficiency of their stoves and expand their market.

Mr. Otu Danquah of the Energy Commission urged manufacturers of cookstoves in the Northern sector to take advantage of the presence of the laboratory to test their wares to assure that they meet the required standards for both local and global markets.

The Cookstove Testing and Expertise Laboratory is expected to encourage the deployment of 5 million clean and improved cook stoves and its adoption by 4 million households in Ghana by 2020, in line with the target set by the Ghana Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.
 
Currently, UNDP is supporting the Ghana Standards Authority to develop technical standards to regulate the thermal and energy efficiency of stoves, as well as the indoor air pollution. A labelling scheme will be designed to clearly inform consumers about the quality and safety of the cookstoves. However, the Provost of the College of Engineering noted that the right regulatory framework and enforcement should be put in place to encourage manufacturers to submit their cookstoves for testing. Without that, he added the laboratory will not be able to serve its intended purpose. 

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