The Strategic Youth Network for Development Ghana (SYND) in collaboration with Adumay3 Foundation has distributed 75 pieces of the organization’s environmentally friendly New Cooking Bags (NCB) to participants at the 2021 Annual General Meeting of Forest Watch Ghana (FWG).
The AGM which took place in Accra in July, had members deliberating on issues in the forestry sector, giving updates of their activities as well as finalizing the FWG work plan.
SYND Ghana, a member of the FWG coalition, in partnership with Adumay3 Foundation- producers of the new cooking bags- distributed the cooking bags to FWG members to promote clean cooking in their homes, communities and beyond. Adumay3 foundation is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) located in the Northern Region of Ghana. Mr. Solomon Yamoah, the Partnership and Relations Officer of SYND, delivered the bags on behalf of the NGO.
The New Cooking Bag
The New Cooking Bag is an initiative of Ellen Seldenthuis, a Dutch national who has lived and worked in Ghana since 2004. Ellen witnessed how much time, effort and money the women in Ghana invest in order to prepare food. This does not leave them with enough time for their own development.
She also noticed how cooking the traditional way especially on firewood was unsafe and bad for one’s health due to the smoke inhalation and the impact it has on the environment. Together with her team, Ellen developed a version of slow cooking which has shown terrific results and which can be produced using local materials.
The NCB is used for cooking food without continually heating it. The food is placed on fire and brought to boil before placing the pot being used in the new cooking bag. The NCB is then tied shut and it takes over the cooking. The insulating properties of the bag keep the temperature in the pot high and the food continues to cook as a result.
The fire that was originally being used to cook can now be put out to preserve resources. However, the taste and the goodness of the food is still preserved.
Mr. Winifred Donkor of Accelerated Rural Development Organisation (ARDO) a member of FWG who has been using the product, testified of the goodness of the product. He prepares rice, yam, beans and even stews using the product. According to him, when preparing rice, you have to reduce the quantity of water a little bit less than you would normally use. For stews, he puts all the ingredients together on the fire and then transfers it to the bag. He admitted that the stew comes out a bit watery. For beans, Mr. Donkor soaks the beans in water before boiling it for about 20 minutes after which he transfers it into the bag.
According to Mr. Donkor, the new cooking bag saves time due to the fact that you can leave the food in the bag unattended to as long as you want and still find it steaming hot. It also saves fuel and the food turns out neat since it never gets burnt.
Reasons to use the cooking bag
The New Cooking Bag has a lot of advantages that stakeholders hope will encourage people to convert to the new way of cooking. These include, it
- saves a lot of time
- makes cooking safer with less accidents like fatal burns and injuries
- better for health as less time spent cooking over open fire reduces smoke inhalation
- good for the environment since less firewood and charcoal is needed
- makes food tastier as all the good stuff is locked in and nothing is lost through evaporation
- saves money because you save fuel
- more hygienic due to the fact that foreign materials including dust cannot find a way to get to the food.
About Forest Watch Ghana
Forest Watch Ghana (FWG) is the national campaign vehicle of Civil Society Organisations and individuals committed to the rights of forest dependent communities. FWG seeks to conduct advocacy campaigns for sustainable and just forest development, management and biodiversity conservation.
For details of the new cooking bags, please visit
Phone number: +233 50 319 2442
Story written by Gifty Agbenyefia OF SYND with inputs from Civic Response and ARDO.