UNDP supports livelihood improvement in Kenyase No. 3 in the Brong Ahafo Region

Aug 9, 2017

Besides the eight pieces of the Gari Elephant, Bossman Owusu, UNDP Communications Analyst (right) presented a cash donation to the community on behalf of UNDP in support of a livelihood centre under construction. Receiving the donation on behalf of the community is Mr. George Padmore Mensah, District Coordinating Director of the Asutifi North District Assembly. (Photo credit: Esther Akowuah/ UNDP)

As part of its commitment to support government’s effort to empower lives and build a resilient Ghana, UNDP has donated ¢20,000 and eight pieces of Gari ElephantsTM to the Kenyase No. 3 Cassava Processing Association in the Brong Ahafo Region. The gesture was to enhance the productive capacity of women in the community for sustainable livelihoods and to promote cookstoves that are energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

“UNDP provides support to strengthen community-level resilience, increase equitable access to natural resources, and better protect against economic and environmental shocks by promoting a wide array of livelihood opportunities”, said Bossman Owusu, UNDP Communications Analyst.

Inspired by the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) initiative promoted by the United Nations, and support for government’s commitment to address unsustainable energy challenges, UNDP in partnership with Ghana’s Energy Commission has been working to improve access to modern forms of fuels for cooking (improved cookstoves and LPG), promoting Productive Uses of Energy (PUEs) and off-grid energy solutions.

Gari, made from cassava, has been an important staple in many Ghanaian households for years. its production provides valuable income to tens of thousands of rural households across the country's cassava-growing regions. Frying — the final step in gari production — is dominated by women who complain of low productivity, high firewood usage, burns, and health complications from exposure to smoke. In Kenyase No. 3, the association comprising mainly women, fortify the carbohydrate with soybeans, margarine and salt to boost both its nutritional and market value.

“Gari production is the main source of income for the women in this community, said Dora Sunkwa, a member of the association, “but frying has been a serious burden for us. We were nonetheless happy to learn that the burden can be reduced with the Gari ElephantsTM produced by Burro. We’re very thankful to UNDP for donating significantly to us. It will certainly change our fortunes”.

“The Elephant was developed in Ghana for Ghana,” said Samuel Nuertey, Burro’s Director of Sales and Marketing. “We talked to hundreds of gari fryers in dozens of villages and tested design after design before finally launching the Elephant in March of this year.” Independant testing of the Elephant by Ghana’s own Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Institute has demonstrated it can fry nearly twice as much per hour as a traditional pan while using less than half the firewood. “People seem to love the chimney most of all – it directs the smoke away.

Mr. George Padmore Mensah, District Coordinating Director of the Asutifi North District Assembly promised the Assembly's financial support to complete the building project for the community. When completed, the facility will house gari processing machines UNDP donated to the community in 2009 together with the eight pieces of the Gari Elephant pan.  

UNDP is committed to the attainment of sustainable development goals. The support to Kenyase No. 3 Community is expected to contribute directly to six goals under the Global Goals, including Goals 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 and 13. By reducing firewood usage, improving labor productivity, and protecting the health of women frying gari, the Gari Elephant is the type of innovation UNDP is proud to support in partnership with the Energy Commission, MOFA, the Asutifi North District Assembly and Burro.