Kampala. Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) will no longer allow improved charcoal stoves manufacturers to operate without certification effective January next year.
The mandatory certification, the standards body says, is aimed at fighting fake stoves that have flooded the Ugandan market.
“Mandatory registration and certification of the stove producing companies will start January,” Mr Julius Mugabi, the UNBS standards developer, said.
He was speaking at the Uganda National Alliance on Clean Cooking and World Wide Fund for Nature event yesterday.
Mr Nolbert Muhumuza, a stove manufacturer, welcomed the UNBS move, saying they had been crowded out of the market by fake manufacturers.
“We suport that move. When a customer buys a stove and it does not save charcoal or breaks down easily, it affects the entire market,” Mr Muhumuza said.
Mr Daniel Wanjohi, the East Africa regional representative at the UN foundation Global Alliance for clean cook stoves, said close to 2,000 people in Uganda die annually as a result of indoor pollution due to lack of clean cooking solutions.
“Household indoor pollution causes 19,700 deaths each year the majority of whom are children below five succumbing to pneumonia, mental impairment and cardiovascular disease because negative impacts affect them more than adults because their organs are not yet fully developed,” Mr Wanjohi said.
Uganda loses 200,000 hectares of forest cover each year to charcoal burning, agriculture, settlements among others, according to available statistics.
Mr Wilson Wafula, the acting commissioner renewable energy in the Energy ministry said in addition to certification, they will go ahead and train manufacturing companies, artisans, and all stakeholders in the designs, processing and handling of the standard stoves.
“The ministry has a modern laboratory that will help in testing the stoves and help in the development and setting specifications of the stove, the standards with the objective of improving the quality of stoves on the market,” Mr Wafula said.