That, the House of Chiefs said, would prevent them from felling trees for firewood and charcoal, which was gradually affecting the vegetative cover in the region.
The House said if the price of LPG were low, residents would be able to afford to buy LPG, and the cutting down of trees for firewood and charcoal for commercial and domestic purposes, especially in the rural areas would be reduced.
Naba Sigri Bewong, the Paramount Chief of the Sakoti Traditional Area in the Nabdam District of the Region, made the call on behalf of the House at a National Energy Transition Forum in Bolgatanga.
According to him, if the price of LPG were far higher than charcoal, as was the case presently, people would be compelled to rely on charcoal for domestic purposes, which would eventually affect the vegetation of the region.
Naba Bewong said trees played critical roles in the environment and helped to promote human existence through the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen, explaining that human beings breathed in oxygen and brought out carbon dioxide, which was used by trees.
“So, we will urge the Government to take serious steps to reduce the price of LPG if it wants us to reduce carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere,” the Paramount Chief said.
Mr Obed Kraine Boachie, the Programme Officer of the Ministry for Energy, on behalf of the Sector’s Deputy Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Amin Adam, said accessibility, the cost of LPG and the initial investment cost were the major factors that affected the use of LPG.
He said the Ministry was working on the price build-up of LPG.
“We are looking at the taxes in there, to advise the Government on the review of the taxes or margins in the price build-up, so that we can make sure that the LPG we bring to users is something they can afford,” Mr Boachie said.
He said to promote the use of LPG in rural areas, the Government of Ghana launched the Rural LPG promotion programme in 2012 and had since distributed over 150,000 cylinders and cookstoves to rural communities.
Mr Boachie said the Ministry had plans to scale up the programme and distribute more cylinders and more cookstoves to people in areas where they used more firewood and more charcoal and support them to switch to LPG.
He disclosed that procurement for the first batch of about 40,000 cookstoves had been secured, and distribution would start soon, and added that the Cylinder Recirculation Module introduced by the cabinet some years ago, would be initiated for LPG to be brought closer to consumers.
“We are not just ending there; we also want to look at our Senior High Schools and Vocational Institutions, where they cook on a large scale for people. We want to look at all these schools and fix LPG systems in them so that they can stop using charcoal and firewood.
Mr Boachie said the Government would also look at the option of biomass in schools where their faecal waste would be converted into biomass energy systems for cooking.