PM tasks energy ministry to expand fuel stock capacity

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has directed the Ministry of Energy to ensure that the country has enough stock of fuel that can cater for needs in between five and six months, instead of having a stock for only one month to serve the public.

Mr Majaliwa issued the directive at Parliament grounds on Tuesday, when officiating the Energy Week, which brought together all institutions under the energy docket, ahead of the ministry’s 2023/2024 budget tabling scheduled for today in the august House.

According to the minister responsible for the docket, January Makamba, the Energy Week was specifically held at Parliament grounds, so that lawmakers who had several queries from institutions under the ministry could get explanations from experts, who are showcasing several projects, their progress and the implementation timeframe.

At the Energy Week which also continues today, the Prime Minister asked the Energy Ministry through a fuel company, tipper, in which the government has 50 per cent stake in shares to ensure that there was no fuel deficit in the country.

He insisted that it was high time the ministry ensured that the stock was enough to serve the country for a period of not less than six months.

He equally directed the Energy and Water Utility Regulatory Authority (EWURA) to make sure that the directive was fully implemented.

At a similar occasion, the Premier asked Tanzanians to move from cooking by using charcoal and firewood and venture into adopting the use of clean energy.

Already, Mr Majaliwa hinted, the government had formed the national committee for coordinating massive education and awareness campaigns on the importance of using clean energy for cooking.

According to him, the committee was doing a great job and that in the next few days; the country will hold a great meeting with stakeholders to address issues of using firewood and the importance of using clean cooking.

Available data shows that 63.5 per cent of the households in the country use firewood as the main source and 26.2 per cent use charcoal for cooking.

Only a fraction of the population at 5.1 per cent use Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as a source of cooking, while 3 per cent use electricity. The figures show that 2.2 per cent use other sources of energy.

The use of firewood and charcoal for cooking is attributed to an array of acute health problems including respiratory infections, chronic pulmonary diseases, and perinatal and infant mortality.

The data also show that some 33,000 people die prematurely every year in Tanzania from illnesses attributable to household air pollution. Women and children are the vulnerable groups in this case.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr Makamba said that, he recently made a tour in several areas of the country to promote sustainable energy use as well as intensifying  awareness campaign to Tanzanians on the importance of using LPG and that he distributed LPG cylinders to rural masses.

He said the government under President Samia Suluhu Hassan provided 10bn/- for the robust programme whereas 3bn/- was used to purchase 100,000 LPG cylinders to be distributed to those in need.

Already, he added, his ministry had distributed the cylinders to majority of MPs because they were among a group that has a great potential in creating awareness to the community.

On Tuesday, the minister gave the PM the cylinders, so that he can be part of influencers in his Ruangwa constituency.

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