The Ministry of Environment has pledged to support the use of ethanol stoves in both rural and urban areas in what is expected to play a major role in the reduction of carbon emissions in the country.
Principal Secretary Charles Sunkuli said the ministry is aware of the country’s depletion of the environment due to increasing pollution and competition for natural resources.
“The emission of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from chemicals remains one of the major challenges faced globally due to their adverse effects on environment as they destroy the ozone layer,’ he said.
Mr Sunkuli said the use ethanol stoves will reduce carbon emissions in the country by over 500,000 tonnes in the next five years.
He was speaking on Wednesday in Nairobi during the launch of the second phase of Samsung ethanol stove project in Kakuma refugee camp.
The programme, which seeks to promote a safe environment, will see refugees benefit from a subsidy of 12,000 eco-friendly ethanol stoves that will be sold at the Kakuma refugee camp at Sh1,995 down from Sh4,000 per stove.
The stoves, also known as “Safi cookers”, use ethanol instead of charcoal, enabling households to benefit from an eco-friendly environment with less smoke while reducing their cooking fuel costs and cooking time.
Mr Sunkuli said about 80 percent of Kenyans who live in urban areas use charcoal for cooking and this puts a lot of pressure on the households due to respiratory-related diseases as well as adverse effects on forest cover.
About 10kg of wood is used to make 1kg of charcoal, putting a lot of strain on the country’s forests.
Samsung Electronics East Africa head of corporate marketing Patricia King’ori called for urgent creation of a healthy environment for future generations through projects that significantly address the rate of deforestation and carbon emissions.
She said deforestation is a major crisis in the country.
In 2015, it was estimated that Kenya was losing a shocking 5.6 million trees daily.
“This is a problem that affects the entire African continent with the green foundation revealing that the rate of annual deforestation in Africa exceeds the global annual average of 0.8 percent,” she said.