NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The use of cooking gas in Kenya has taken a
downward trend as prices hit an over two year high following the
introduction of value added tax on fuel products, with the
development putting a dent on the East African nation’s efforts
to embrace the fuel.
slapped an 8 percent tax on fuel products namely kerosene,
petrol and diesel as it sought to shore up its revenue. The
taxes have had a ripple effect in the cooking gas sector, making
dealers raise prices.
In the capital
Nairobi, a survey on Wednesday indicated that dealers have
raised the cost of cooking gas to an average of 2,200 shillings
(about 21.5 U.S. dollars) for the 16kg cylinder. On the other
hand, a 6kg cylinder is going for 9.8 dollars.
The last time the
prices of the commodity were at the level was in June 2016,
according to official data from the Kenya National Bureau of
Then, the government
had removed tax on the fuel pushing the prices to below 19.5
dollars where they stayed since.
The current prices
are reversing the gains Kenya had made in pushing citizens
embrace the cleaner energy.
consumption data from KNBS indicates that cooking gas use stood
at 19,000 metric tonnes (MT) in September when the taxes were
imposed, from an average of 22,000MT the previous months.
“Since the tax on
petrol and diesel was imposed, demand has stagnated because our
suppliers also increased prices. I used to sell up to 25 6kg
and 13kg cylinders of cooking gas a month but now I only do 15
and it’s the same customers who keep on coming. Small income
earners who used to buy the 6kg cylinder have disappeared,” said
Abel Kirui, a cooking gas seller in Donholm, east of Nairobi.
have regulated the use of cooking gas with a majority
supplementing its use with kerosene to avoid high costs.
“I use cooking gas
only to make breakfast and supper, the rest of the meals I cook
using kerosene,” said Rose Mutheri, an administrative assistant
Use of kerosene,
according to the KNBS data, also declined to 16,800MT in
September from 24,980MT in August following the imposition of
new taxes, an indication that more Kenyans are using biomass for