Kenya is currently grappling with a severe cooking gas crisis, following a rapid increase in the price of cooking gas in just one week. As a result, many Kenyans are now turning to alternative energy sources such as charcoal, kerosene, and others for cooking and other household uses.
“Price Hikes Leave Consumers at the Mercy of Market Dynamics”
According to reports, the cost of a 6kg cylinder that was previously sold for Ksh1,800 has skyrocketed to Ksh2,600, while the price of a 13kg cylinder that was once retailed at Ksh2,600 has increased to Ksh3,100 in Nairobi. Gas retailers have informed their customers of the changes, blaming the increase in prices on government regulations.
However, consumers are left at the mercy of market dynamics, as the price of cooking gas is not regulated by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA). Businessmen in the cooking gas sector attribute the price hikes to the weakening of the Kenyan shilling against the US dollar.
“Businesses Struggling to Stay Afloat”
Retailers in the cooking gas sector are feeling the heat of the crisis, with many reporting a significant decrease in sales. “People are telling me that they cannot afford gas. They are buying kerosene instead. We used to sell up to 20 cylinders in a day and now we sell as low as two cylinders in a day,” lamented Abdulahi Abdi, a retailer in the sector. Some retailers have been forced to pause their businesses to find money to refill their cylinders.
The food industry has also been greatly affected by the hike in gas prices. “There are some types of food that I used to cook, but I had to stop cooking them because it consumes a lot of gas and charcoal. Food like beans and maize consume a lot of charcoal. That also means that customers who wanted to buy such kind of food will go somewhere else,” said Peter Mwangi, a businessman in the food industry.
In conclusion, the cooking gas crisis in Kenya has taken a toll on businesses and consumers alike, forcing many to resort to alternative energy sources. The government and relevant authorities must act quickly to address the issue and find a sustainable solution for all.