As we continue to work fight climate change, laws and acts should support all Initiatives that work towards supporting Climate Actions. They should offer protection, as opposed to creating huddles.
Huddles introduced by The Finance Act 2020 (Kenya)
Cookstoves and fuels, as well as solar equipment, have been subjected to a 14% VAT.
This will automatically make it inaccessible to the target group. This is because the prices will have to go up, and will no longer be affordable.
As a result, people will go back to depending on firewood.
The increased need for firewood will increase deforestation and illegal charcoal burning.
Food is a basic human need, people have to eat. Making it even difficult when the source of heat becomes expensive to acquire.
We know these families go through a hard time managing to have food on their table. The improved clean cookstoves helped save on what they used to spend on the source of cooking heat source. A while back, women and children had to go for long hours and distances to find firewood. Also, the risk of burning charcoal illegally. After all these hustles, they also suffered from the indoor pollutions that come with the use of such cooking sources as firewood.
This also brings back the illegal charcoal burning, as it will be seen as the cheaper move with the introduced taxes.
Laws and Acts should boast Eco-friendly Steps, not hinder their success
As a country, we have been trying to improve our forest cover. Part of the success was the reduced need for charcoal with the introduction of clean fuel-efficient stoves.
They were widely distributed and got a positive response from the local communities.
Children in rural areas managed to have safe lightning from solar systems. Hence able to have evening and night studies. It was a great move and achievement enjoyed by the parents and kids.
Laws and Acts should be formulated with such at heart. Any activities that provide solutions towards climate change, should be fully supported and protected by law.
Our leaders should make a point of making it easier and affordable for the locals to embrace eco-friendly solutions.
The Finance Act 2020 needs to be rechecked and several issues amended to ensure that we embrace clean energy affordably.
We don’t want any more floods, landslides, droughts, respiratory diseases due to indoor air pollution, children missing schools to collect firewood, and many other disasters. We need them to have easy and cheap access to clean and fuel-efficient cookstoves and fuel. Let them have access to solar systems. Everyone deserves a bright light, just like the future we are hoping for.
It is no time to be greed and only think of ourselves. Our environment needs your attention and action, hindering moves made to make it healthy denies all of us a bright future.