kono, Sierra Leone – 21/07/22 – With the support of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), ECREEE solicited the technical expertise of the Institute of Leadership, Energy, Environment and Management (ILEM) to undertake hands-on training for local cookstove artisans in and around the district of Kono from 18 – 22 July. This workshop is one of the 2022 WACCA activities planned for specified countries in the ECOWAS region to undertake capacity building on design and construction of modern and efficient cookstoves.

The objective of WACCA is to bring clean, safe, affordable cooking energy solution to the entire ECOWAS population by 2030 in line with the overall objective of ECREEE to promote energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency within the ECOWAS region.

Specifically, the capacity building activity on design and construction of improved stoves in Sierra Leone was planned with the aim to:

  • Promote local manufacturing of efficient, affordable, clean cookstoves and support the emergence of local businesses and create local employment;
  • Strengthen capacities of public and private entities (market enablers and players) to develop and implement investments in clean cookstoves projects in the country;
  • Increase the health and socio-economic benefits associated with the use of improved cookstoves;

The event was held against the backdrop that, over 90% of the population in rural and peri-urban areas of the ECOWAS region still relies on traditional use of biomass (wood and charcoal) as primary energy source for cooking. Beyond the adverse health effects, traditional cooking method is expensive, burning up to 90% more wood than is necessary. It was therefore important and timely for the training was held in the communities where reliance of woody biomass is still prevalent.

Delivering the keynote address, the immediate past Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission – H.E Finda Koroma thanked ECREEE for their collaboration and support as well as the Ministry of Energy for their dedication to the service of the people. She advocated for greater use of efficient cookstoves, save the environment and enhance the living condition of the people by providing them skills they can earn a living. She further appealed to the Chiefs and the traditional authorities to work on by-laws on tree felling noting the crucial relationship between trees and climate change;

Mr Bah F. M. Saho, from ECREEE recounted the efforts of the Centre at developing the four major forms of Energy Policies to enhance the promotion of clean, efficient and sustainable energy in the ECOWAS region. The Chairman, Council of Chiefs requested ECREEE to work with the government and make the Technical Institute (GTI) at Kono, a Renewable Energy Centre of Excellence.

The 6-day training attracted 24 participants with 18 women and 4 men from the different chiefdom of the Kono district. The training continues until Saturday.