Rwandans backtracking to charcoal owing to soaring gas prices

Cooking gas cost hiking leading Rwandese citizens back to charcoal [Image: courtesy]
Rwanda—Presently, the world is focused on the use of environment-friendly fuel. Charcoal and dirty paraffin are fizzling out and cooking gas stepping in gradually.

With the need to have environment-friendly sources of energy, gas has been put at an affordable price in many countries, however, in Rwanda, the opposite is seen.

Households in the country have over the past few weeks witnessed an increase in prices for cooking gas, a situation that threatens to upset the gains made towards minimizing the use of charcoal and firewood.

According to some cooking vendors, the unpredictability of prices which has been blamed to the Rwandese government has plunged them into losses.

Earlier last month the prices of the gas increased from Rwf1,100 per kilogram to between Rwf1250 and Rwf1275 and by last week, the prices for the same had jumped to Rwf1,350.

Claude Ndayizeye, a gas vendor in Nyarugungga sector, Kicukiro district said that generally, the prices started increasing earlier this year those it was initially manageable.

“Before the prices used to increase by Rwf20 up to Rwf30 but since October, the increase has been drastic in the areas of Rwf80 and Rwf100 and above,” he said.

He added that they are counting losses due to such drastic hiking of the prices because buyers are becoming fewer by the day.

“I used to sell up to 30 cylinders per day but today I hardly sell ten because I think people are going back to use charcoal.” He added.

Another vendor from Kimironko, Teta Niwewe, raised similar concerns, estimating that she has so far lost about 40% of her clientele within one month.

Hassan Mugabo, a resident of Gasabo District said that he has already switched to using charcoal as a cheaper option, going by the soaring cost of gas.