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Households tap Sh4.7 billion for solar, clean cooking kits fund

Alternative sources of energy like sun and wind are generally less scarce and less polluting.
Households in eight counties are set to benefit from a new Sh4.7 billion programme that aims to provide solar and clean cooking solutions in off-grid areas.
The households will be covered under the second phase of the Kenya Off-Grid Solar Access Project (Kosap), which is a flagship project of the Ministry of Energy and financed by the World Bank.
The new phase takes off next month (November) and will benefit thousands of households in eight counties such as Turkana, West Pokot, Isiolo, Marsabit, Samburu, Kwale, Taita Taveta, and Kilifi.
The Energy Ministry and the World Bank said the funds will go into clean cooking (Sh553.5 million), solar (Sh1.3 billion), and solar debt facility (Sh3.3 billion).
The project will be managed by the SNV Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) in partnership with SunFunder, and targets to deliver 150,000 higher-tier clean cooking solutions for use by households in the KOSAP Service Territories (KSTs).
Under the first phase of the project which kicked off in 2019, some 10 companies are currently selling various clean cooking products in Turkana, West Pokot, Isiolo, Marsabit, and Samburu Counties.
The State has recently stepped up a push for the uptake of clean energy to boost health and curb environmental degradation. Critics, however, said policy decisions by the government including higher taxation on cooking gas risk derailing these plans.
After the reintroduction of the 16 percent VAT from July 1, LPG prices hit a six-year high. For example, the 13-kg cylinder gas averaged Sh2,400 while the 6-kg one averaging Sh1,300.
The high cost of LPG is set to hurt growth in consumption of cooking gas that has more than doubled in the past five years on the removal of the 16 percent VAT. –