A parliamentary committee wants the Energy Act, 2019 and the Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act, 2016 amended to pave the way for the implementation of a presidential directive that all boarding schools to switch from firewood to cooking gas.
The MPs say that would facilitate the diversion of Sh2.5 billion collected as an anti-adulteration levy to clean energy projects.
Specifically, Sh500 million would be allocated to the LPG project, which aims to cover more than 5,000 boarding schools.
If implemented in a sustainable manner, this plan would ease pressure on the country’s forest cover and ensure that the proceeds of the anti-adulteration levy are utilised productively, given that fuel adulteration is now largely a thing of the past.
The switch to cleaner energy on such a large scale is likely to have a positive impact on the homes and communities where learners, teachers and other members of the school community reside.
This transition will encourage a much-needed change of mindset from relying on ‘dirty’ traditional sources of energy to adopting environmentally friendly options.
To facilitate the nationwide transition to cleaner energy, the Kenya Pipeline Company should heed the lawmakers’ plea and expedite the construction of a 30,000 metric tonne common user LPG storage and handling facility in Mombasa by the end of this year.
This facility, along with other incentives, will not only make clean energy affordable for schools but also for every household. The National Treasury, the Energy and Education ministries and other stakeholders should collaborate to ensure a smooth and cost-effective transition.
While LPG may not be a completely green source of energy, it is considerably cleaner and more environmentally friendly compared to other fossil fuels such as coal, oil and firewood.