Address energy access to save Uganda’s forest cover

Wednesday March 6 2019

On March 4, the Nema deputy executive director said on a local TV station that Uganda loses about 100,000 hectares of forest cover every year. She said this will likely increase due to population increase and the consequent demand for charcoal, firewood and timber from Uganda and neighbouring countries.

The deputy executive director also said due to the level of poverty in local communities who are supposed to be good stewards for these forests, they are the ones who are involved in charcoal business in order to get some quick financial support through selling charcoal and firewood.

There is also interference by government agencies that sabotage the work of Nema. Research indicates that about 25 million tons of wood are consumed annually in Uganda [with the] majority of that wood [being] used as household firewood (65 per cent), charcoal (16 per cent) and commercial and industrial firewood (14 per cent).”

Besides, Uganda Bureau of Standards’ (Ubos) Uganda National Household Survey of 2016/2017 showed that more than 90 per cent of the people in Uganda depend on firewood and charcoal for cooking.

This experience has caused a lot of dependence on biodiversity, Uganda tourism potential, climate change, agricultural and the livelihood of the most venerable and poor communities who depend on these sources of energy among others.

Our country has heavily invested in construction of large and mini-hydropower and it is proven that Uganda has excess electricity which would provide the best and perfect alternative source of energy to save Ugandans forest cover.
Balach Bakundane,
[email protected]