Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) says it is investigating circumstances in which Gas prices have abnormally hiked across different selling points.
For the past two months, gas prices on retail market have been increasing – sending alarm bells among consumers.
At different sale points especially in the capital Kigali, a kilogram of gas has been increased by around 80%. For instance, at different sale points around the capital Kigali, a kilogram of gas is sold at Rwf1300 from Rwf800.
According to RURA, “The current hike in gas prices is attributed to increase in fuel prices,”RURA said in response to several queries on Social media. In January this year, RURA announced new pump prices in which a littre of petrol at Rwf1,091 and Diesel at Rwf1,084.
This is not the first time gas prices increase. In 2018, KT Press reported about an alarming hike in gas prices – which could force the number of users to diminish; despite government efforts sensitize citizens to switch to the clean energy as a source of cooking.
At the time, a kilogram of gas on the retail market around the capital Kigali was between Rwf1000 ($1.14) and Rwf1400 ($1.61) depending on the location. This registers an increase of Rwf200 from Rwf800 in the past two years. This, however, was down from Rwf1800 per kilogram in 2012.
More than 80 per cent of Rwandans use charcoal and firewood – the most dangerous source of cooking to the environment.
Despite attributing the issue to increase in fuel prices, RURA – the regulator of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), said it is further investigating whether gas dealers could be hiding behind fuel prices to slap their consumers with higher prices.
According to RURA, there are 12 companies licenced to import gas into the country. These include; SafeGas, Lake Gas, Kobil, Societe Petroliere Ltd (SP), Kigali gas and Merez, among others.
The importing dealers are grouped under an association. To be a member, you need to have the capacity to import at least 100,000kgs of gas, according to an official at SP who spoke to KT Press.
If widely used, gas could not only save the environment but also save Rwandans from severe health issues caused by the use of firewood and charcoal.
In 2018, Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA) released a study on inventory of sources of air pollution in Rwanda, which says domestic biomass cook stoves (wood and charcoal) are the primary contributor to poor air quality in residential areas.
Poor air quality is the world’s single largest environmental health risk and was believed to be responsible for the deaths of 6.1 million people in 2016, according to the 2018 State of Global Air Report.