The government is on a mission to replace dirty fuels used by majority of Kenyan households in cooking with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
Cabinet on Monday considered and approved the LPG growth policy, offering a pathway for progressively weaning-off the 70 per cent of Kenyan households currently using biomass, Kerosene and other dirty fuels as their primary cooking fuel.
As part of the policy’s proposed regulations, a framework requiring all housing developments to have provisions for Liquified Petroleum Gas reticulation infrastructure shall be implemented. “This provision will be embedded as a prerequisite for approval of any housing development projects, including those under the administration’s flagship programme of affordable housing,”
The proposed interventions will further encompass establishing common-user LPG import terminals, distributing subsidized LPG cylinders to low-income households, promoting LPG use in institutions, facilitated by partnerships with finance institutions, LPG players, and the ministries of Education and Health.
The Cabinet noted that the measures aim to reduce consumer prices, improve public safety and contribute to both public health and environment sustainability.
Universal access to modern energy services by 2030 is one of the three goals of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative launched by the United Nations in 2011. After Kenya joined SE4All in 2012, a stocktaking revealed that Kenyans relied predominantly on traditional sources of cooking energy. About 84 percent of the population cooked with solid fuels (wood, charcoal, or agricultural residue), and 5 percent used kerosene. Cooking with these fuels affects the health of millions of Kenyans while causing environmental and social damage. An estimated 15,000 Kenyans die each year from air pollution, and at least 40 percent of childhood deaths are caused by respiratory illness
The consideration and approval of LPG growth policy by the Cabinet adds to other projects targeted at improving the government’s capacity to revise the legislative framework surrounding LPG, and to remedy deficiencies in the supply, distribution, and storage infrastructure.
In early 2015, the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum embarked on a six-year World Bank–funded technical assistance project (dubbed KEPTAP) to strengthen its capacity to manage the petroleum sector. Several reforms and capacity-building actions, including the development of an LPG distribution model and public awareness plan, are being pursued.