Uganda's Push for Affordable Clean Cooking Energy – The Ankole Times

Uganda’s Push for Affordable Clean Cooking Energy

Thursday, October 12, 2023

In a recent workshop held in Kampala, actors from the private sector urged the public to embrace clean cooking energies as a viable alternative to traditional biomass fuels. Mr. Michael Mivule, the Chairman of the Uganda National Alliance on Clean Cooking (UNACC), stressed the need to bridge the information gap among the public regarding the practicality of clean cooking energies.

Clean cooking energies, such as Electric Pressure Cookers (EPCs), were highlighted as cost-effective and safe options compared to charcoal and firewood. Mr. Mivule revealed that EPCs have undergone rigorous testing at Makerere University laboratories, with accreditation from the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS). The use of EPCs allows individuals to cook for as little as Shs300 per day, in stark contrast to the Shs3000 to Shs5000 cost associated with charcoal. The EPCs automatically regulate heat and maintain a pressurized environment, significantly reducing cooking time. For example, beans can be cooked in just 45 minutes, as opposed to the two to two and a half hours required by traditional stoves.

One of the primary challenges faced in Uganda is affordability, as many people have limited incomes, making it difficult for them to invest in EPCs, which can cost Shs250,000 or more.

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According to the 2019/2020 Uganda National Household Survey, 73 percent of Ugandan households rely on firewood for cooking, while 21 percent use charcoal. These practices expose them to indoor cooking-related health risks.

To address this affordability issue, organizations like GIZ, UK Aid, and Modern Energy Cooking Services are collaborating to develop systems that allow individuals to make small deposits and gradually pay for clean cooking solutions.

Under the Electricity Access Scale-Up project, networks will be extended to communities to facilitate the use of clean cooking energies. Mr. Patrick Tutembe, the Principal Economist for Pricing at the Electricity Regulatory Authority, mentioned that this program includes extending power connections to households. Once houses are wired, the government will provide free electricity connections.

Uganda Energy Credit Capitalization Company (UECCC) has published an expression of interest to encourage clean cooking companies to partner with them in implementing a results-based financing scheme, aligning with the Government Electricity Connection Policy (2018-2027). UECCC collaborates with financial institutions to provide loans to cover the costs of wiring for households and commercial enterprises to supplement government-provided free electricity connections.

Umeme is also actively participating in the transition to clean cooking energies. They are implementing the e-booking tariff introduced by the government to support cooking with electricity.

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Hope Turyomurugyendo has a pivotal role as the Jobs and Tenders Notices Publisher at The Ankole Times. She is driven by a passion for connecting job seekers, entrepreneurs, and businesses with valuable opportunities in Uganda.
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