By Mary Hearty

Use of clean energy for cooking is essential especially during this COVID-19 crisis as many households are spending more time indoors, increasing the risk of household pollution.

Due to this, the Clean Cooking Association of Kenya (CCAK) has urged the government to set aside 15% of affirmative funds to facilitate the growth of the clean cooking sector in the country.

The funds could, for instance help boost clean cooking innovations, provide tools to support women entrepreneurs in this sector and build gender-focused capacities.

Peter Scott, CEO Burn Manufacturers, in a press statement emphasized: “It is essential for government and non-government actors to support clean cooking technologies during COVID times because households are spending more time indoors, increasing the risk of household pollution.”

He further requested the government to re-evaluate the taxation policies around clean cooking to make Kenya the hub for clean cooking in Africa.

Statistics indicate that over 70% of households in Kenya still use firewood and charcoal for cooking, with only 30% using modern cooking methods. As a result, about 21,000 deaths are reported annually attributable to household air pollution caused by traditional cooking methods.

“To reverse this trend, we need to catalyze the growth of the clean cooking sector, by setting aside a fund equivalent to 15% of the affirmative funds,” David Njugi, the CEO CCAK noted.

“Recent reintroduction of VAT on clean cooking products retracts the gains the industry has made, and directly affects the poor in society and especially women and children.”

The CCAK anticipates to have 10 million households using clean cooking solutions by 2022 and economically impact at least 7 million women in Kenya.

Maimuna Kabatesi, Program Manager – Hivos, said, “We look forward to seeing the energy needs of households in Kenya met through clean energy, by supporting the development of energy policies and practices that support investment in decentralized renewable energy and clean cooking technologies.”