Special , CAFS, Multi-fuel stove, helps ,promote ,environmental, protection , Kenya,

, Robert Manyara,
NAKURU, Kenya, Sept. 11 ,Xinhua,Recent ,reinforced commitment , Kenyan government, promote use ,clean, green , low-fuel ,consumption devices, given ,local entrepreneurs , impetus , manufacture multi-fuel cook ,stove, suitable , both small ,big sized families,

In June, Treasury reduced the import tax on energy-saving cooking stoves from 25 percent to 10 percent, making them more accessible to the many rural and urban homes still using the transitional fuels to meet their daily energy needs.

Ensuring all homes in Kenya are users of energy efficient cooking and lighting devices is a target the government seeks to achieve with support of communities and other development partners.

This is intended to ensure a sustainable forest cover due to a slowed rate of cutting trees and eliminate deaths of people from indoor pollution related complications.

“Giving households an option that will ensure they reduce their energy consumption is the starting point to addressing the problem of deforestation,” Julius Gathombi, project officer of the Sustainable Community Development Services (Scode), observed on Saturday.

The organization based in Nakuru, Rift Valley region of Kenya, is manufacturing multi-fuel cooking stoves, taking advantage of the state’s support for energy efficient stoves.

With their rather heavy stove, one can burn dry matter including dry maize cobs, cowdung, sawdust, briquettes and firewood.

The interior liner furnished with metallic cover, is made of particular clay sourced from some parts of central Kenya and has been scientifically proven to be effective in absorbing and maintaining heat for long hours, Gathombi said.

The stove has an impermanent holed liner which can be removed should one opt to use any other fuel instead of charcoal or briquettes.

“The clay is not any kind of clay. Research has been done on it and has shown that it is good in saving the energy. You can cook for long (hours) with two pieces of firewood,” he said.

The portable multi-fuel stove goes for 12.5 U.S. dollars and is adoptable to both small and big families, he said.

“It is already popular in Nyandarua, Nyeri(both in central Kenya), Laikipia and Nakuru (also in Rift Valley) because people have realized that they are low fuel consumers but cook for long hours,” Gathombi said of the stove which they first introduced into the market in September 2011 as a model for training 40,000 locals on energy conservation.

The European Union and Hivos have in the past offered the organization financial boost to promote green energy in the country.

According to him, Kenyans are increasingly appreciating the necessity of adopting low energy consumption cooking devices.

“We understand that Kenyans are now more cautious of the kind of fuel to use and how to use it. From our interactions with the (stove) buyers, we have realized their need is simply to cut down their energy expenses,” he said.

Cooking in the open fires is still a common practice in the rural areas and some parts of urban settlements but environmentalists say it is a waste of a lot of energy, resulting to utilization of huge of loads of firewood or charcoal.

Overall 68.3 percent of Kenyan population use firewood and charcoal but larger percentage of consumers reside in the countryside, according to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

The agency indicates that 80 percent of the rural population use firewood as main source of fuel compared to 10 percent in the urban. This is followed by charcoal at 13.3 percent.

“The less the firewood, the less the number of trees harvested to meet the demand,” stated Absalom Ragira, environment and climate change specialist.

Enabling the rural communities adopt innovative ways of energy consumption is the driving force towards beating deforestation in the East African nation, he observes.

“We are also talking about diseases that mothers are exposed to for inhaling smokes from burning firewood. That is a healthy concern with phenomenon socioeconomic impact to the community and the country,” he said. Enditem

By Robert Manyara, Xinhua/News Ghana

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