EDITORIAL: Make cooking gas affordable

A boda boda rider transports charcoal in Parklands
A boda boda rider transports charcoal in Parklands, Nairobi on March 22. FILE PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG 

The government should make liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) affordable to low-income households to cut the use of dirty biomass fuel and save on energy.

The health and environmental impact of woodfuel is grave.

Widespread use of charcoal and other woodfuels for cooking is linked to deforestation and respiratory diseases like pneumonia in many households.

The government in the past introduced a logging ban to discourage woodfuel use.

But a lack of affordable alternatives such as LPG has kept the demand for charcoal high among the low-income households.


According to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), 80 percent of households rely solely on either charcoal or firewood as their primary cooking fuel, with charcoal worth Sh68 billion consumed each year.

Kenya needs affordable cooking gas to cut reliance on firewood and charcoal as well as Kerosene.

There is need to have the right policies to increase LPG uptake. The recent decision by the Treasury to remove 14 percent VAT relief on cooking gas was not well thought out.

It reversed the gains that had been made to increase use of clean cooking fuel.