By Zulfah Namatovu
The Chairman of Uganda National Alliance on Clean Cooking (UNACC) Mr Michael Muvule Pinto has said there is still an information gap among the public on the usability of clean cooking energies.
According to Muvule Pinto, clean cooking energies like Electric Pressure Cookers (EPCs) help in saving money as well as ensuring safety while cooking compared to charcoal and firewood.
Muvule speaking at a media workshop that took place at silver springs hotel Bugolobi. “The EPCs have been tested at Makerere University laboratories and UNBS has accredited the tests. People can cook for Shs300 a day versus Shs3000 to Shs 5000 when using charcoal.
The Electric Pressure Cooker powers the cooker to a certain heat and then it switches off and does not require any more power. It maintains that heat in a pressurized environment and allows it to cook fast. For example, beans can be cooked in 45 minutes versus two to two and a half hours on regular traditional ,” Mivule Pinto explained.
“The biggest challenge in Uganda has always been affordability, people have low incomes and it is hard for them to afford the EPCs which are for example sold at Shs250,000 and above,” Mivule Pinto added .
According to the 2019/2020 Uganda National Household Survey, 73 percent of Ugandan households use firewood for cooking while 21 percent use charcoal. This exposes them to indoor cooking-related diseases.
“We are increasing affordability with support from organizations like GIZ, UK Aid and Modern Energy Cooking Services by designing systems where people can make small deposits and make payments all the time,” Ms .Sarah Babirye, the Clean Cooking Project Coordinator stated .
Mr Patrick Tutembe, the Principal Economist for Pricing at the Electricity Regulatory Authority said that under the Electricity Access Scale-Up project, networks will be extended to communities to enhance the use of clean cooking energies. “The wiring is mainly the responsibility of the customer. The program includes an extension of power, once the houses are wired, the government will give the free connection of electricity,” he said.
Roy Baguma, the head of transaction execution at Uganda Energy Credit Capitalisation Company (UECCC) said the organization has published an expression of interest to call for clean cooking companies to partner with UECCC to implement a results-based financing scheme.
“In line with the Government Electricity Connection Policy (2018-2027), UECC works with participating financial institutions to provide loans to cover house or commercial enterprises wiring costs to supplement government free electricity connection”.
The Project Manager of strategic Projects at Umeme , Pter Mwesiga said that Umeme is implementing the e-cooking tariff introduced by the government to support cooking using electricity.
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