Women need access to clean energy, not celebrations

Monday March 11 2019

By Dan Denis Agaba

Uganda joined the rest of the world to mark Women’s Day last Friday. This year’s celebrations, held in Bunyangabu District, one of the remote areas that uses biomass as a form of energy.

Globally, three billion people, mainly women and girls, lack access to clean and affordable energy services. They primarily rely on the use of biomass such as firewood and charcoal for their energy needs.

Consequently, they suffer from what many scholars have economically termed as “poverty energy”.

This term was coined when lack of clean energy affects the flexilibility and ability of women to engage in income generating activities because they spend a lot of time cooking, walking long distances to collect firewood than working, leading to energy poverty.

According to Uganda Bureau of Statistics Household Survey, more than 90 per cent of Bunyangabu people depends on the use of traditional sources of energy that are detrimental to the health and well being of citizens. This particularly affects women who bear most of the home-related chores that involve the use of biomass energy.

Women who lack access to energy sources and are, therefore, less likely to stay healthy, earn higher incomes and acquire decent education necessary for improving their lives. This ultimately undermines the realisation of other fundamental human right.
Dan Denis Agaba,