from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI – KENYA plans to curb its strong reliance on solid biomass fuels by the year 2028.
It plans to curb this dependence especially in rural areas where over 80 percent of the households depend on firewood and charcoal as their primary sources of cooking fuel.
To achieve this, the government will collaborate with clean cooking sector stakeholders and support the development of appropriate policy frameworks, increased funding for clean cooking, and development of sustainable markets specifically LPG, electricity, clean biomass solutions, ethanol and biogas.
Gordon Kihalangwa, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Energy, said government was committed to gradually phase-out of the use of charcoal in urban areas by 2028 and transition all public institutions from use of biomass cooking fuels to higher tier cooking Solutions by 2025.
“Further, we will accelerate the adoption of and use of clean cooking technologies and fuels to 100 percent by 2028,” he said.
Kihalangwa was speaking during the launch of the Clean Cooking Week 2021.
Jechoniah Kitala, chair of Clean Cooking Association of Kenya, said that there was a need to enhance sector coordination and action within and outside of government for the country to achieve its goal for universal access to modern clean cooking solutions.
“Clean cooking technologies need attention if the country’s efforts to deal with pollution, reduce disease burden and mitigate adverse effects of climate change are to bear any fruits,” Kitala said.
In Kenya, up to 34 percent of wood fuel harvested is unsustainable, contributing to environmental degradation and climate change.
About 70 percent of households in Kenya still use a type of wood stove as either their primary or secondary cook-stove, with a greater prevalence of 92 percent in rural areas.
This corresponds to 64,7 percent (equivalent to 8,1 million) of households in Kenya using wood as their primary cooking fuel.
It is estimated that complications from Household Air Pollution through inefficient stoves and fuels in claims 21 560 lives annually in Kenya according to a recent study by the Kenya Cooking Sector.
The most affected people are the women and children below the age of five.
– CAJ News