Rwanda eyes Cooking Gas tank at Village level as Campaign to shift from Firewood goes on
The National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda in its 2016/2017 report released in 2018 shows that 79.9% of the energy needed for cooking comes from trees. 15% of households use charcoal, 83% of households and companies use firewood, 2% use cooking gas and so on.
To achieve its goal of reducing the use of Biomass to 42% by 2024, the Government of Rwanda through the Rwanda Energy Corporation (REG) has taken steps to sensitize large households and companies to use cooking gas and also encourages the private sector to invest in the gas business.
Karera Issa, a REG staff in charge of cooking Gas Use Awareness Campaign, says domestic gas use is promising.
“When you look at the amount of gas imported and the amount of gas sold compared to the previous years of 2012, it has increased a lot, but there is still a long way to go to reach the required level,” he said.
He says that when you look at big companies like schools, the tea companies and so on, participation in the use of gas is still low and that is what consumes a lot of wood and charcoal, and this leads to deforestation while the citizens rely us on forests for clean air and son.
“We strongly encourage schools and other institutions to use cooking gas and the latter is cheaper than the price of charcoal and firewood,” he said. Gas has many other benefits, including speeding up cooking, helping the user to make better use of the time, and also clean the cooking area, preventing various diseases including respiratory problems. ”
Karera says in an effort to help the public comply with the cost of gas, an investor awareness campaign has been launched, with exports increasing by 11 from 6 in 2012 and the value added tax (TVA) deducted from gas and related equipment.
“When you do the calculation right, using gas is cheaper than using coal. For example, a study shows that a 12-pound gas bottle is used where two bags of charcoal are used. 12 kilos of gas costs 12,000 Frw, while two bags of charcoal in total cost 17,000 Frw. ”
The number of domestic gas vendors in the country has also increased as the cost of transporting them to cities and centers around the country has dropped.
The Government of Rwanda is preparing a project that will include the Nkunganire program which will be aimed at helping the population to afford the price of gas and related equipment. It is a project funded by the World Bank through the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD), and its activities will begin this year.
Karera says efforts should also be made to raise awareness on the use of gas and prevention as misuse causes accidents.
“We urge the gas traders to pay close attention to the warehouses of related equipment, especially the cylinders because if stored incorrectly, it could be the cause of a gas leak.”
The Rwandan government is considering ways in which, in collaboration with the private sector, people can integrate into the village and set up a gas tank that reaches their homes, and one pays for their expenses as domestic water is paid.