Kenya, Rwanda introduce new laws on LPG use

Saturday March 17 2012

Photo/File The EAC Secretariat has harmonised 1,100 standards for use in the region.

Kenya and Rwanda have introduced new safety laws on the use and marketing of liquefied petroleum gas.

The Kenya Bureau of Standards has issued eight new standards regarding cylinder design, construction, transportation and maintenance, following a recent fire outbreak at an illegal gas filling plant in Nyeri, central Kenya.

The laws cover fitting of valves to gas cylinders, inspection and maintenance and rubber and plastics hoses for industrial gases use among others.

Rwanda has also received a proposal on new LPG standards drafted by Nairobi based Kurrent Technologies Ltd.

The consulting firm was contracted by the Ministry of Infrastructure last year to develop standards for Rwanda’s growing LPG sector.

Kenya is the only country in the region that has developed comprehensive standards on LPG in line with the East African Community requirements.


The EAC Secretariat has harmonised 1,100 standards for use in the region.

“We recommended Rwanda to adopt and modify its laws in line with those from Kenya which are compliant with the bloc’s requirements,” said Kurrent’s chief executive officer James Mwangi.

Mr Mwangi said illegal gas filling depots which are often manned by unskilled staff under poor safety standards, endanger human life and property in case a fire breaks out.

“Greed, ignorance and a casual approach to safety issues continue to cost lives. There is an urgent need for awareness among investors, contractors and enforcement agencies,” he said.

The situation is worsened by limited capacity on the part of law enforcement agencies and the lack of public awareness on potential risks while handling liquefied petroleum gas.

Mr Mwangi said a clear institutional framework will set roles for stakeholders like Rwanda Standards Bureau, Ministry of Infrastructure, Rwanda Management Authority and marketers.

Distribution of LPG in Rwanda is done through mainstream oil marketers who source the product from Kenya and Tanzania and transport it by road.

Distribution is done through service stations and supermarkets in an assortment of cylinder sizes ranging from three kilogrammes to 35kg.