Understanding Access to Clean Cooking Fuels in Kenya
Abstract: Adoption of clean cooking fuels is conditioned by factors known as barriers and enablers, which characterize the decision-making environment of a household. Access to clean cooking is a target part of the Sustainable Development Goals, yet it currently stands at 19.5% in Kenya. Growth is stagnating and even decreasing in Sub Saharan African countries, since progress is being defaced by the population growth rate. Barriers and enablers include wealth or income, whether the location is rural or urban, education and awareness, infrastructure such as road and electricity access, topography and elevation, gender dynamics, and household demographic characteristics. For adequate planning and effective policy development to encourage clean cooking access, it is important to contextually identify what factors have the greatest impacy and where. This thesis implemented a geospatial analysis to identify the locations where selected cooking fuels are most likely and less likely to be used, while also identifying the most relevant barriers and enablers for these fuels. The relationship between factor and cooking fuel use was later corroborated by simple linear regression analyses. The work is based largely on the 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census, in which firewood was the most used fuel in the country at 68.14%. This fuel was analysed and contrasted against the two clean cooking fuels, electricty and LPG. Results indicate that the urban - rural divide has an important role in Kenyan household's fuel adoption, followed by household size, and education and awareness. Firewood and LPG presented an interesting dichotomy, where the enabling factors of firewood were the same barriers to LPG, and vice versa. These factors included: high rural share, large household size, high education and internet use, high informality of settlements, and tenure. Electric cooking had a more separate behaviour, that highlighted the importance of infrastructure, since road access was an enabler and elevation a barrier. Electricity access and electrical reliability did not have the expected impact on the cooking fuels use. This might be due to the low values that they have in Kenya, meaning that they are not present enough to enable adoption of both clean cooking fuels. Given the current political outlook of Kenya and the relevant factors identified, both clean cooking fuels present a great prospect for their adoption, with LPG having a larger potential than electric cooking.
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