BY OUR ENERGY REPORTER
The Government through the Ministry of Energy and Mineral development has launched the distribution of Liquified Petroleum Gas – LPG cylinders targeting one million households in a bid to promote safe and clean cooking.
Launched Tuesday by Ruth Nakanbirwa, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development in Bugo Zone, Busabala in Wakiso District, the new initiative will see each benefiting household receive a 13kg cylinder, burner, and other accessories.
The Government has partnered with Shell, Vitro, Stabex International Ltd, and Total Energies, which are considered to have a wider network across the country to help the beneficiaries access the renewable energy facility.
Energy Minister Nankabirwa says the use of LPG can protect forests from being depleted for charcoal and firewood production and use, hence contributing to preserving the environment and capturing carbon dioxide emissions.
For eligibility, one is required to register and fill out a form to be endorsed by the Local Council One Chairperson. He then takes the form to any nearby outlet of the four selected oil companies where they will be handed the gas cylinder.
Typically, liquified petroleum gas is cleaner than other fossil fuels; environmentally friendly fuel, non-toxic and non-corrosive in nature which helps to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Ismail Tobasiima, the Marketing Officer at Stabex International Ltd disclosed that recent research they conducted prior to the project revealed that the 13kg gas cylinder can last three months for an average family with four members.
In the open market, a full set of 13kg LPG gas cylinders and its accessories costs at least 270,000 Shillings. However, beneficiaries will now spend Shillings 100,000 only to refill the cylinder once the gas is depleted.
Paddy Kabuye, a resident of Bugo who benefitted from the initiative lauded the Government for rolling out the project to the households to save their time in cooking and promoting environmental conservation.
Equally, Annet Nasanga, said the usage of gas will release the pressure on cutting down trees and save the environment. She also notes that the use of charcoal for daily cooking is cumbersome for mothers.
Uganda is expected to begin producing her oil in the Bunyoro sub-region in 2025. Of this, the oil industry is expecting 300,000 tonnes of gas to support the Government in upscaling the usage of liquefied petroleum gas. Total Energies will also use part of the gas to generate more electricity for the country.
The 2016 Uganda Health and Demographic Survey released by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics – UBOS also shows that 98.3 percent of Uganda’s population was using solid fuel for cooking at the time of the survey, while only 0.6 percent of the population was using clean fuel.
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