NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 22 – Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka on Wednesday appealed to players in the petroleum industry to make Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) more affordable to Kenyans.
The Vice President said with the recent outlawing of use of charcoal which has for a long time been their mainstay, many people were looking for more affordable source of fuel.
“The customers who have been relying on charcoal and paraffin to cook will then turn to gas, and thus promote environmental conservation,” Mr Musyoka noted.
In the same breath Mr Musyoka asked gas companies to be innovative and package the commodity for the mass market for as low as Sh200 to Sh500, saying the move would discourage over-reliance on wood fuel, and help conserve forests and natural water sources.
At the same time the Vice President announced plans were at an advanced stage in the construction of a 7,000-metric tonnes LPG import facility in Mombasa and 2000 metric tones storage and distribution facility in Nairobi.
With the growing uncertainty over fuel prices Mr Musyoka told players in the petroleum industry to respond effectively to fluctuating global oil prices to cushion Kenyans against high fuel prices.
He said petroleum companies had an obligation to citizens to steady the erratic fuel prices as they continue to grapple with effects of the global economic crisis.
“People have to be mindful of the welfare of our people because if the economic crisis continues to make life impossible for majority of Kenyans even those with ability to afford it will soon fall into the same category due to the trickle down effects,” the VP said.
He was speaking during the inaugural graduation ceremony of the Petroleum Institute of East Africa’s (PIEA) School of Petroleum Studies, held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre on Wednesday, where 29 graduands were awarded with various management diplomas.
The Vice Chairman of PIEA Mr Mwendia Nyagah said with no clear indications fuel prices were going to drop drastically any time soon, Kenyans needed to become more conservative in terms of fuel use.
“I believe Kenyans are spending 20 – 30 percent of unnecessary fuel either because of not servicing their vehicles or simply not planning their trips well enough to avoid traffic jams,” he said.
Mr Nyagah said the institute was a key resource centre in petroleum training in the region whose aim is to harmonise standards in the sector and encourage development of local sources of energy.
He said plans were underway for the school to start offering degree programmes in energy studies.
PIEA has trained over 1000 players in the oil sector.