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Kajiado school adopts clean energy

In a bid towards combating the adverse effects of climate change, Moi Girls’ Isinya Secondary School has embraced clean cooking energy technology.

The institution which previously relied on firewood for cooking has now fully adopted the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

The 2000-kilogram capacity LPG installation at the school is a joint project by the State Department for Energy, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Embassy of Japan and Community Road Empowerment (CORE).

Energy Principal Secretary, Alex Wachira, noted that the government is championing the adoption of clean cooking solutions in schools by the year 2025 to conserve the environment by minimizing cutting down of trees for wood fuel.

In a speech read on his behalf by Dr. Harun Komen during the official launch of the LPG cooking facility, Wachira said that the school is one of the beneficiaries of the Accelerating Clean Cooking Access(ACCA) project.

He added that similar facilities had been installed in four other schools in Nairobi, Nyeri, Tana River and Machakos counties.

The PS reiterated that adoption of clean cooking energy solutions in schools will reduce overreliance on wood-based fuels and put Kenya on track in achieving her target of ensuring that all schools use clean energy by 2025.

“All public institutions that currently use biomass as their primary cooking fuel will be required to transition to LPG. As Kenya pursues clean and green growth, it is imperative to match the effort to the mitigation of climate change by embracing environment-friendly alternatives,” he said.

According to Emy Doyle CORE Kenya Project Officer, the adoption of LPG in schools will aid in combating several harmful effects on the environment, health, and climate caused by over reliance on wood fuel.

She urged other schools and learning institutions to adopt clean energy cooking solutions to save on costs and time.

Beatrice Mukasia, CORE technical adviser, revealed that the use of LPG will help schools cut down on costs incurred in buying firewood by half.

“It used to take six hours to cook beans using firewood for a population of 1500 students but since the LPG cooking system was installed it only takes two hours for the food to be ready thus it saves time,” she said.

Mukasia added that the use of clean energy will also help protect the environment and the health of the kitchen staff as they are no longer exposed to smoke.

Moi Girls Isinya Chief Principal Alice Sayo revealed that embracing LPG for cooking will enable the school to save Sh150,000 each term previously spent on purchasing firewood.

She noted that the project was time saving and will ensure that students get their meals on time thus are able to concentrate in class translating into good performance.

“The project has ensured that students meals are prepared on time, and we have also been able to save on money spent on buying firewood,” Sayo said.

Paul Musila, the head cook at the school welcomed the use of LPG adding that it has made their work easier and ensured cleanliness in the kitchen.

Musila said the use of firewood emitted a lot of smoke in the whole school compound, making the kitchen and its environs very dirty.

He added that it took a long time to cook food, especially during the rainy seasons, because the firewood was always wet.

“The cooks were exposed to smoke and most of them had started developing respiratory and eye problems but since the LPG was installed, no smoke is emitted at all and we are also able to serve pupils on time,” he said.

In Kenya, nine in every ten schools use firewood for cooking. The use of firewood produces harmful gases and tiny particles which pollute the air, and are detrimental both to human health and the environment.

President William Ruto in February 2023 directed all schools and public institutions to ditch the use of firewood and adopt Liquefied Petroleum Gas for all their cooking needs by the year 2025, a move aimed at reducing cooking gas prices and reducing the use of wood fuel that harms the environment.

By Rop Janet

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