Machakos residents to benefit from cheap cooking gas
The Government, in partnership with the National Oil Company (NOCK), has launched a project aimed at availing affordable cooking gas to low income earners.
Speaking in Machakos on Wednesday, Assistant County Commissioner (ACC), George Juma told KNA that the government intended to use the project to help ease overdependence on scarce firewood in the area.
He said the State Oil Company has distributed fabricated containers in all the eight Sub- Counties to help supply the subsidized fuel that is going for Sh. 2, 000 for a 6kg cylinder.
“We are trying to phase out the use of charcoal, firewood and kerosene with affordable gas to low income earners. The common mwananchi is only required to pay Sh.2, 000 for the cylinder, burner and gas,” he said.
A similar gas cylinder complete with a burner in the retail market goes for up to Sh.6, 000.
Juma said their other objective was to help raise the living standards of people with low incomes in the country by helping them acquire cheap cooking gas since the use of firewood, kerosene and charcoal could be expensive and relatively pollutant besides being a threat to environment.
However, for one to qualify for the commodity, he or she must collect and fill a requisition form from his respective chief before making a purchase.
One must also prove that his monthly income was below Sh.10, 000 to weed out unscrupulous buyers from the program.
One client, who introduced herself as Grace Mueni, says that she preferred to go for the new gas cylinders due to their low cost as compared to other sellers from the market.
“I am grateful for this noble gesture from the government since it will enable many of us who cannot afford the cost of gas due to its prohibitive cost in other outlets,’ she said after managing to make her purchase.
Due to the high turnout, most clients were complaining of the long delays before one was served.
They are now requesting the government to increase the number of attendants managing the depot to ensure people were served faster.
“I’ve been here since 7.00 am and it’s now 11.00 am but nobody has served me since only one person is in charge. We hope something will be done to deal with this problem so that people don’t have to queue here for long hours before they can be attended to,” said Gladys Ngina, one of the clients we interviewed.
As pertains whether the initiative has anything to do with the ongoing campaigns by the Jubilee government, Juma said it was unfortunate that politicians read mischief in any endeavor however genuine.
He said some people were even going around the County spreading wild claims, saying the government was using the project to buy out votes from the residents and termed such utterances as reckless.
Beneficiaries of this program will in future be refilling their cylinders at selected points at Sh.900 as compared with the normal price of Sh.1, 000.
Other area earmarked also to pilot the project is Kajiado County.
By Samuel Maina/Caroline Mutheu