In a bid to enhance the capacity of women in producing gari for sustainable livelihood, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has supported women at Kenyase No. 3 in the Brong Ahafo Region with gari processing cookstoves.
The energy efficient and environmentally friendly machine will also reduce the health implications associated with the traditional method in gari processing.
Over the years women in rural Ghana earning their income from gari processing have been exposed to heat and smoke due to their inability to access modern processing equipment.
The situation has not only affected their livelihood but also threatened health and the environment, something that has become a challenge to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals 1,2,5 and 8.
About 90 percent of women at Kenyase No. 3 earn their income from gari processing.
Most of them have been in this business for decades because of its profitability but lack of modern machines to enable them increase production has been a challenge for them over the years.
It is against this background that the UNDP under its initiative to assist rural women to grow their businesses has supported the women of Kenyase with eight gari processing cookstoves.
It is also to support the government to empower lives and build a resilient Ghana.
The cook stove gives twice as much per hour as against traditional pan while using less than half the firewood. Also, it directs smoke away through a specially designed chimney.
Dora Sunkwa, a beneficiary, is confident the gari processing cook stoves will change their fortunes.
“Gari production is the main source of income for most of the women here but trying has been a serious burden for us. We have to battle with heat and smoke anytime we are frying.
“We are grateful to UNDP for supporting us with this gari processing cookstoves known as Gari Elephants,” she said.
Communications analyst at UNDP Ghana, Bossman Owusu, said the intervention is part of measures to assist Ghana achieve the sustainable development goals target.
“UNDP is interested in improving the livelihood of communities especially the marginalised. Supporting women of Kenyase No 3 will reduce poverty in the area, and with any income the women get from their business they will be able to cater for their health needs and support the education of their children.
“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,” he stated.
Mr Bossman encouraged corporate to give responsibly to contribute directly towards the attainment of the sustainable development goals.
UNDP has also presented a cheque to 20,000 Ghana cedis to assist in the completion of a training and work centre for the gari processors.
By Ibrahim Abubakar|3news.com|Ghana