Kenya association calls for tax incentives to spur uptake of clean cook stoves

NAIROBI, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) — Tax incentives will help spur uptake of clean cook stoves in Kenya, the industry said on Thursday.

Clean Cookstoves Association of Kenya (CCAK) CEO Myra Mukulu told Xinhua in Nairobi that the current tax regime has made efficient cookstoves out of the reach of ordinary citizens.

“We are therefore urging government to remove all taxes on cookstoves to ensure that customers have greater access to stoves that will safe fuel,” Mukulu said during a pre-budget hearing for the 2018/2019 financial year.

The East African nation has reduced the import duty of solid biomass complete stoves from 25 percent to ten percent but inputs for local manufacture of stoves still attract Value Added Tax (VAT).

Mukulu said duty reductions affect only imported goods which do not constitute a significant portion of the cookstoves sold in the country.

“Local manufacturers do not benefit from import duty exemptions. A VAT zero rating benefits the entire sector and enables greater consumer adoption through enhanced affordability for energy efficient cookstoves,” she added.

Mukulu said approximately 84 percent of Kenyans cook with solid biomass, mostly over traditional and inefficient stoves.

“These have resulted in 13 million tons of wood annually being consumed as a result of inefficient charcoal and wood cookstoves,” she said.

Mukulu observed that increased adoption and use of energy efficient cookstoves and fuels will reduce Kenya’s greenhouse gas emissions by hundreds of thousands of tons.

According to CCAK, up to 34 percent of woodfuel harvested is unsustainable leading to forest degradation, deforestation as well as climate change.

Mukulu noted that increasing use of energy efficient cookstoves through enhanced affordability will also save the lives of thousands of Kenyans currently at risk from respiratory-related illnesses. Enditem