17-06-2021 by redazione
Gas cylinders are like time bombs in Kenya.
This is the verdict of a study conducted by the Clean Cooking Association of Kenya (CCAK) that has shed light on the dangers present in many Kenyan kitchens and homes.
According to the research, nearly 4 million Kenyan households use LPG as their primary source of heat for cooking at home. And almost all of them keep gas cylinders inside the home.
This is mainly because of the fear that the cylinders outside could be stolen and secondly because of the lack of space needed outside.
The number of people using gas, as opposed to coal, rightly continues to grow, also due to the ongoing campaigns not to burn plants and the ban on turning protected wood into fuel.
Despite the fact that in rural areas most people still "make wood" for coal, and few still follow the dictates of recycling, making briquettes from agricultural waste or rubbish, gas is gaining ground as the country's number one cooking energy.
But there are big risks, linked to the wear and tear of the pipes purchased to connect the cylinders to the cookers, the few controls on the pressure of the knobs and the ageing tests on the gas itself.
The number of domestic accidents linked to poor handling of cylinders or the purchase of low-quality pipes, cookers and knobs is increasing.
According to experts, gas hoses should be changed every four to five years, while CCAK studies show that Kenyan households only buy new ones when problems such as cracks or leaks occur.
On average, according to interview responses, pipes in Kenya are changed after 10-12 years. Not only that, good quality standard ones should have an expiry date on one end, but they are often cut to the size required for use and there is no indication of expiry.
Kenya's largest supplier of gas cylinders, Total, recently recalled a consignment of thousands of knobs that failed leak tests.
Hardware store traders interviewed confirmed that gas hoses are sold almost exclusively to first-time buyers, and almost never do the same buyers come back years later to change the hose.
Total Kenya confirmed that LPG pipes should be changed every five years for safety.
The right price for good quality pipes is at least Kshs 150 per metre, so be wary of cheaper ones. The lives of an entire household, and possibly others, could be at stake.
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