Uganda Gov’t launches campaign to reduce use of charcoal, firewood

The government of Africa has launched a campaign in order to reduce the use of charcoal and firewood, starting with enormous consumers like education institutes, hospitals and prisons, among others.

Moreover, the Authority of Electricity Regulatory signed a memorandum of understanding with the Uganda prisons Services, which aims to transit from the use of biomass to clean energy in a project codenamed charcoal to power.

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According to ‘Ziria Tibalwa Waako’, the chief executive officer ERA, right now, we aim to provide electricity to all the eight million residence households in the country and the only effort we are putting in is supported by the government is to ensure that this electricity reaches all parts of Uganda.

Furthermore, Waako stated that many people came and complained to me related to high power tariffs and this arrangement is so priced friendly, and a unit will cost not more than Shs 500.

It is estimated that more than 200 prisons all over the country will take benefit from this pilot project. Prisons are one of those institutes that use a lot of firewood for cooking.

According to ‘Samuel Akena’ he is a commissioner of Prisons, uses 30,000 tonnes of firewood within a year which translates to around Shs 1.6 billion.

Akena added that all those tonnes translate into many trees that are cut down every year for firewood. It is high time we need to change this procedure.

Right now, the main target of ERA is to target more than 500 institutions and 50,000 households before they roll out the campaign in the whole country.

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According to recent data, more than two billion people in developing countries rely on biomass fuels to meet their household energy needs. These fuels include firewood, charcoal, crop residues and animal dung and have negative impacts that range from environmental degradation, especially deforestation, to the health effects of combustion smoke and fuel handling (e.g., respiratory diseases, back injuries).

Governments and organizations recognize the importance of reducing these negative impacts and, to this end, are promoting a shift from traditional fuels for cooking and heating to other fuels such as kerosene, gas and electricity.