Govt Unveils Bioenergy plan to eliminate wood cooking in schools.
According to Energy PS Gordon Kihalangwa, the state plans to eradicate the usage of wood energy for cooking in schools by 2028.
The PS said the government’s National Bioenergy Strategy Action Plan will help all vulnerable communities migrate from wood fuel to upgraded and cleaner cook stoves by 2028, speaking at a validation workshop in Machakos on Wednesday.
He claims that it will encourage the use of new platforms to drive Kenya’s bioenergy development.
The plan was created to guide the implementation of various bioenergy operations in accordance with the Sustainable Energy for All Plan’s suggested priority actions.
“This action plan will guide bioenergy development in the short and medium term,” Kihalangwa said.
According to the PS, enhancing policy, regulatory, and institutional frameworks for successful delivery and coordination of bioenergy programs in the short term – 2021/2022; complete mapping of the country’s bioenergy resources with development potential.
Others are working to improve sustainable bioenergy feedstock production in urban, peri-urban, and rural areas, as well as assessing the potential of reviving bioethanol blending with gasoline in the transportation sector.
According to Kihalangwa, the plan’s medium-term goals are to strengthen bioenergy research capacity to inform policy and support development, transition to clean cooking fuels and technologies, mobilize financial resources for local bioenergy development, and strengthen clean cooking cooperation between the health and energy sectors.
The strategy will also encourage and promote private sector participation in bioenergy development, communication, promotion, and knowledge of available options, as well as progress monitoring and assessment.
Overall, the action plan aims to eliminate the use of wood energy for cooking in all public institutions by 2028.
It also aims facilitate the transition of all vulnerable communities from wood fuel dependence to improved and cleaner cook stoves by 2028, and encourage the adoption of innovative platforms to drive bioenergy development in Kenya.
The PS stated that the government had made numerous measures to increase the country’s forest cover.
“Forest cover means the citizens must understand the importance of planting trees. Majority of our population due to lack of affordability to access alternative sources of energy like gas and electricity cut trees to burn charcoal,” Kihalangwa said.
“This bioenergy strategy covers a number of things including firewood, cow dung, and biomas. This strategy with its action plan will assist them to understand.”
As additional trees are planted to replace them, Kihalangwa believes it is viable to cut trees in a responsible manner and burn charcoal.
He added that the action plan also sought to educate the public about tree planting and the efficient use of forest cover.
Most of the country’s schools, particularly boarding schools, cook with low-cost kilns.
Kakamega School, Kenya High, and Alliance, for example, have their own woodlands to ensure that schools have firewood.
They chop trees in a systematic manner and have set out days to plant new trees in the same woodlands.