RE: “Safe cooking gas should be promoted countrywide” (The New Times, February 16).
I agree—changing the mindset is a key behavioural modification strategy to get more people to adopt gas usage. However, it is said the wallet is the most effective change agent.
A sack of charcoal—which can cater for cooking needs in a medium household of about 6-8 people—goes for two weeks and it costs about Rwf8,000. That is Rwf16,000 in a month.
A 12-kg gas cylinder goes for Rwf16,000 in the above household and would also last two weeks, so becoming Rwf32,000 in a month.
The startup cost to move to gas cylinder is usually expensive, a gas cooker one burner costs about Rwf 30,000 while a charcoal stove (imbabura) is about Rwf5,000. From the figures above, it’s a momentous task to get people to move to gas cooking especially the lower class—and ignoring this important section of society as a Government would fail its duty of catering for all economic segments.
Some interventions for this class are to subsidize low-cost and energy-efficient solutions through tax exemptions, etc. Every day I charcoal Lorries in Kigali overloaded with charcoal. This means that the demand is high, but how to manage it for me is one that leaves me scratching my head.