Safaricom and M-Gas have launched prepaid gas service for Kenyan households.
This is expected to empower millions of Kenyan homes to enjoy access to clean, affordable and reliable cooking gas, providing them with the flexibility of purchasing gas based on their needs and how much they can afford at a time.
M-Gas is tackling existing access barriers to clean cooking by eradicating both the upfront cost required for a gas cylinder and gas cooker, often more than Sh6,000 and the high refill cost of Sh2,000 per cylinder.
Safaricom’s partnership with M-Gas will for the first time empower millions of Kenyans with affordable access to clean cooking gas, an opportunity we believe has been previously underserved,” Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph said.
Each M-Gas setup will include a gas cylinder and a 2-burner gas cooker which will be provided to customers at no upfront cost. The gas cylinder will come equipped with an innovative smart meter that will show how much gas a customer has paid for and how much they have remaining.
Payments will be made through M-PESA with the gas automatically disconnecting when a customer has completely consumed the amount paid for.
Speaking about the partnership, head of M-Gas Volker Schultz said Safaricom is a leader in both technology and customer service and his firm looks forward to building on the success to conveniently reach and serve households in the country.
Safaricom is extending its digital and payment capabilities to M-Gas, powering the smart meter technology on each cylinder that enables customers to have control over how the use and pay for gas.
The smart meter has made it possible for M-Gas to provide a solution tailored to local economic conditions reflecting the daily, kadogo pattern of earning and spending in the country.
Customers will have the flexibility of purchasing gas from as low as Sh 1 through M-PESA, with the cost of providing three meals for a household coming at less than Sh70 per day.
“Gas users will no longer have to grapple with the hassle of managing the replenishment of empty cylinders as the smart meter sends an alert to M-Gas whenever the gas runs low. M-Gas will then dispatch a refilled replacement to the customer, conveniently delivered to the comfort of their homes, at no cost,” Schultz said.
In addition to making gas affordable to more Kenyans, M-Gas will similarly provide millions of Kenyans with the privilege of smoke-free cooking, eliminating the health challenges caused by reliance on smoke-emitting fuels.
According to the World Health Organization, respiratory infections are among the world’s leading cause of premature deaths, with household air pollution from fuels attributed to more than 15,000 early deaths in Kenya every year.
Wood and charcoal fires are among the leading emitters of the deadly particulate matter (PM2.5) responsible for pollution-related complications, even ahead of diesel.