By Bedah Mengo NAIROBI (Xinhua)
-- An increase in the price of
liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) amid stifled incomes has
seen Kenyans cut down on the use of the fuel.
citizens have turned to other sources of fuel that
include kerosene, charcoal and firewood, abandoning LPG,
whose use in June 2016 hit around 17,000 tonnes a month.
economic data point to the fact that the use of the
cooking gas in the East African nation has hit the
nadir, falling to less than 4,000 tonnes on an average
of December and January.
from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistic (KNBS)
showed Wednesday that 2017 was the worst year for the
used a paltry 64,200 MT of LPG in the entire year, the
lowest consumption to be recorded in recent years.
In 2016, the
use of the commodity stood at an all-time high of
166,820 MT, which means consumption declined by nearly
consumption fell to the lowest in December, when Kenyan
residents consumed a paltry 3,400 tonnes of gas despite
the December festivities.
players blame the fall on rising cooking gas prices,
which are currently as high as 25 dollars for a 13-kg
cylinder and 10 dollars for a 6-kg cylinder.
have been on the rise since the beginning of 2017, going
in tandem with those of diesel, kerosene and petrol.
As at the
end of 2017, the price of a 13-kg cylinder stood at 22
dollars, having started at 18 dollars in January. In the
capital Nairobi, households are currently refilling a
13-kg cylinder of the commodity at between 22 dollars
and 25 dollars.
The cost is
higher at multinational oil companies, with a survey on
Wednesday indicating that most outlets in the city are
selling the 13-kg cylinder at 25 dollars while
independent dealers at 22 dollars.
a gas dealer in Kitengela, a suburb on the outskirts of
Nairobi, said Wednesday that the number of people buying
the commodity from him has declined significantly.
2016, I used to sell up to 30 cylinders in a month and
get new buyers but these days I sell about 15, and that
is the same, same old customers,” he said, whose
sentiment was echoed by other dealers.
Simon Omondi is among the low-income earners who have
stopped using cooking gas, citing high price.
operates in Kayole on the east of Nairobi, said the
problem with cooking is that one needs lump sum of money
to purchase, unlike kerosene or charcoal that are sold
in smaller quantities, making them accessible.
In 2016, the
high uptake of the commodity was attributed to
low-income earners taking advantage of the reduced
followed the government move in the June budget to
remove the 16-percent VAT it had imposed on the fuel to
boost consumption, amid decline in global fuel prices.
LPG converts have turned to kerosene as illustrated by
the long queues every evening at fuel stations in
Nairobi, as LPG prices remains high amid stifled
“I am not
surprised that consumption of the commodity hit that low
in 2017. That year was not good for many people in the
country because of the long electioneering period, which
affected the economy and hence money supply and peoples’
buying power. With low incomes, LPG certainly falls off
the budget of many households,” said Henry Wandera, an
economics lecturer in Nairobi.
noted that with many people continuing to lose jobs and
the economy shrinking, LPG may once again become a
preserve of families with higher incomes.