Uganda launches eCookbook  to promote clean cooking targeting 353,000 households

As part of its efforts to promote clean cooking/ e-cooking in Uganda,  government through the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) with support from partners has  launched the Uganda eCookbook . The clean cooking program is targeting at least 353,000 house holds.

The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy Eng. Irene Batebe said that a total investment of about  USD 20M will be mobilized from public and private sector  to enable the public access upfront capital for clean cooking solutions.

The Uganda eCookbook was developed by Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC) with support from Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) and the University of Loughborough and funding from UK Aid.

It explores the role of energy-efficient cooking services in Uganda’s energy future specifically detailing how Electric Pressure Cookers (EPC) can be the most time, cost and energy-efficient way of preparing at least 80% of Uganda’s traditional dishes such as matooke, posho and beans.

While delivering the State Minister’s key note speech during the launch event at the Kampala Serena Hotel, Dr. Gerald Banaga, the  Assistant Commissioner Technical planning at the Energy Ministry noted that Uganda’s energy sector is currently characterized by heavy reliance on solid biomass fuels in form of firewood and charcoal which contribute over 89% of Uganda’s total consumable energy resulting in to mass deforestation and air pollution.

Government’s National Development Plan III target on clean cooking includes increased access to clean cooking from the current 15% to 50% and reduced use of solid biomass cooking from 89% to 50%.

In efforts to hit this target, “Government developed a biomass strategy for Uganda to promote the efficient utilization of biomass energy in a sustainable manner. The strategy spells out the need to promote alternative and modern technologies for cooking in a bid to reduce unsustainable demand for firewood and charcoal,” read the Minister’s speech.

It further adds that Government introduced a cooking tariff, to make the cost of cooking with electricity lower than that of charcoal in homes. Patrick Tutembe, a Principal Economist (Pricing) at Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) noted that with the new cooking tariff, consumers will pay UGX. 412 for each unit of Electricity in the threshold approved by ERA (81st to 150th Units).

The minister further stated that with power being a critical source of energy for clean and modern energy for cooking, Government adopted a multi- pronged strategy to develop and diversify energy sources by increasing the capacity of the nation’s energy supply.

“Currently, Uganda’s installed power capacity is at 1346MW as of 2021 and will be 1946.6MW when Karuma Hydropower dam is commissioned in 2022,” read the speech. Blessing Nshaho a representative from UMEME also made an assurance of a significant stability of power in Uganda now, “Power is now available and reliable, with have many power stations and substations which we are working on upgrading and expanding,” he said.

With these initiatives being put in place, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development is working closely with the Uganda National Bureau of Standards to develop national standards for electric pressure cookers. It also intends to establish a certification program for EPC manufacturers and distributors.

The Ministry further advocates for targeted consumer awareness drives to stimulate the demand for EPCs and strengthening the EPC supply chain as means of promoting clean cooking in Uganda.

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