Environment at risk as fuel,gas prices soar

Counties Editor's Pick Energy Meru

Environmentalists have raised concern over increased prices of fuel and gas, citing that the costs will push citizens into cutting trees for fuel.

According to Beatrice Mburugu, Chairperson Abothuguchi West Women Empowerment, a community based organization advocating for the use of clean cooking fuel, said the cost of refilling up gas cylinders have doubled up hence being beyond the reach of many households.

Mburugu said efforts by the government to save the environment from pollution could be eroded as many could not afford to cook using clean energy due to the prevailing high costs.

She noted a refill of a 13kg cylinder is costing Sh3050 up from Sh2200 which is beyond reach of many households.

She pointed out that due to the high cost of gas many have turned to traditional methods of cooking such as use of charcoal and firewood.

“The government’s efforts to ensure at least 10 per cent of our land is covered with forests could be derailed as many households have resorted to cutting trees for firewood and charcoal,” he said.

Mburugu disclosed that through support from county government Twaweza programme, Patrick Muthuri foundation and Sea gas, over 1000 women have received six kilogramme gas cylinders.

She said the organization intends to save women from diseases caused by indoor pollution.

“We want to uplift the quality of life as well as conserve our forests. Abothuguchi West borders the Mt Kenya forest and we need to be part of those conserving this natural resource and slowing down climate change,” Ms Mburugu said.

She called on the government to review the cost of gas to save the environment.

Janice Karambu, a farmer, noted that the cost of gas has doubled in the last three months.

Karambu said that   life has become very difficult citing that she could not afford to refill her 6 kg gas since it went off a month ago.

“My schedule starts as early as 5.00am in the morning, I have to prepare breakfast for my family and lunch before heading to the shamba,” she said, adding that her gas made work easier.

Karambu pointed out that due to the cost of gas she has resorted to using firewood to prepare meals for her family.

“Our eyes and chests are suffering from carbon emitted from the firewood” she said, urging the government to reduce the cost of fuel.

By Muguongo Judy

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