Home > Counties > State advocates for clean cooking

State advocates for clean cooking

The government has launched the ‘Accelerating Cleaning Action’ project in the country to provide Kenyans with clean energy that will stop them from using solid biomass.

The Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Alex Wachira, said that currently only 30 per cent of households are using clean cooking solutions, while close to 59 per cent of households are still using the traditional fireplace for cooking.

The PS said the project, which abates harmful gas emissions among other benefits, shall champion the distribution of improved cookstoves to vulnerable communities, thereby contributing to the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution target of providing 4.55 million improved biomass stoves.

He said the traditional method of cooking that involves firewood and charcoal in poorly ventilated environments has led to high cases of respiratory diseases, heart problems, and death, as well as adverse effects on climate change through the emission of greenhouse gases and black carbon.

“The Ministry of Health attributes close to 23,000 deaths annually to indoor air pollution, which mainly affects women and children who spend extended periods of time looking for fuel and cooking meals,” said Wachira.

The World Health Organization observes that indoor air pollution remains the world’s single largest environmental health risk and annually contributes to over 4 million deaths globally, mostly in low-income countries.

The PS was speaking today during the launch of the Accelerating Clean Cooking Action Project at a Nairobi hotel that was attended by the Ambassador of Japan to Kenya, Ken Okaniwa, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Resident Representative, Kenya, Mr. Antony Ngororano.

He said the government has prioritized clean cooking in the country’s development agenda by setting the target of achieving Universal access to modern cooking energy services by 2028.

The actions to achieve the target are defined in the Sustainable Energy for All Action Agenda 2016, the National Climate Change Action Plan, the Cooking Energy Compact 2021, the Bioenergy Strategy 2020, Medium Term Plan Four, and the Energy Act, 2019, through integrated energy planning and the prioritization of clean cooking in energy development at the national and county levels.

At the same time, the PS announced that the government is also developing a national clean cooking strategy using a rapid response facility secured from the Energy Transition Council.

“This strategy defines the roadmap for increasing access to climate-friendly, efficient biomass stoves as transitional technologies and promotes the fuel switch from solid biomass and kerosene to cleaner and more environmentally friendly options,” he added.

The friendly options include biogas, bioethanol, LPG, electric cooking using solar PV, mini-grids, and grid electricity, adding that the government’s implementation of the national cooking clean strategy will be done through a delivery unit within the state department for Energy supported by the clean cooking alliance.

Mr. Wachira thanked the Japanese government for her commitment to implement strategic and effective cooperation while paying close attention to the police and strategic trends set by the Kenya government.

He noted that the project will strengthen the diplomatic ties between the two countries through the provision of human resource development, agriculture, economics, infrastructure education, and the environment, among others.

In his remarks, Ambassador Okaniwa said that action to change the climate should not only be taken by governments but also by individuals changing their lifestyles.

“By promoting this project, we will help people understand that they can benefit from energy, and more so, we will prevent people from cutting natural forests,” Okaniwa remarked.

He urged Kenyans to protect their forests in order to eliminate the challenges of climate change and improve their livelihoods.

“In the long run, people will adopt this kind of cooking stove, which is much better than the old way of cooking,” Okaniwa said.

By Ali Sheikh Mohamed

Leave a Reply