Officials In Uganda Call for Better Energy Saving Tools to Preserve Trees – Friday, 17thJune 2016
Kampala — As the world commemorates the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought today, environment and energy experts have said the nature of stoves used in homes and factories will determine whether the country will turn into a desert or not.
Speaking at a conference in Kampala recently, outgoing commissioner in charge of renewable energy in the Ministry of Energy Godfrey Ndawula, said the country is susceptible to desertification due to massive deforestation in search for biomass energy.
More than 90 per cent of Uganda’s energy needs are met by biomass resource (trees) but only 10 per cent of homes and institutions use improved charcoal stoves which Mr Ndawula says saves up to 50 per cent of energy compared to conventional charcoal and three-stone stoves.
“We need a multi-sectoral approach to handle this issue and as a ministry, we want all institutions to use improved stoves in meeting cooking or boiling needs,” he said at a conference organised by Uganda National Alliance on Clean Cooking (UNACC).
Uganda loses 90,000 hectares of forest cover annually according to the National Environment Management Authority State of the Environment Uganda 2008 report.
Mr Julius Magala, an official from UNACC, said embracing improved charcoal stoves and turning wastes in briquettes would not only conserve the environment but also create jobs, especially for the youth.
“Most of the small factories turning waste into briquettes create between 10 to 50 jobs each in different value chains. So, if we have more factories, it will mean more jobs but also money to factory owners,” Mr Magala said.
The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, which was enforced in 1994, aims at promoting public awareness of the issue, and the implementation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification in countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa.