The Republic of Uganda through the ministry of Water and Environment has initiated an Ecosystem based Adaptation (EbA) Technology to reduce emission and biomass loss through construction of modern institutional energy saving stoves to be piloted in 3 public Schools; Kijjabwemi Church of Uganda Primary School, St. Damian Buyaga Primary School and Tekera Primary School in Masaka District;
The clean energy production initiative is aimed at enhancing ecosystem resilience through promotion of institutional energy saving stoves by reducing wood fuel consumption within the district. The initiative involves construction of modern energy saving cooking stoves which have high level of heat retention and high consumption of wood fuel as compared to the traditional cooking stoves.
Most high learning institutions such as Universities and Colleges as well as hospitals and households use traditional cooking stoves which consume a lot of wood fuel which subsequently lead to the loss of a large number of trees to cater for the high demand.
The old technology also poses a great health threat on the operator of the stoves as they are exposed to high temperatures produced from the stoves and high density of smoke which are high risk factors to severe respiratory infections like Asthma and respiratory tract infection, lungs, eyes and skin infections
But as seen in Kijjabwemi Church of Uganda primary school, one of the pilot institutions, it is already reaping economic value since it adopted the modern stove technology as stated by the school’s headteacher, Moses Kawesi.
“This term running, we have used one trip of firewood, but when we were using the old one, by this time we [would have] used around three trips of firewood,’’ Moses said.
Similarly, through the project the regional project – Adaptation to Climate Change in Lake Victoria Basin of Lake Victoria Basin Commission, the ministry has also facilitated the training of the local community in Masaka and Mubende Districts in making their own household energy saving cooking stoves using locally available materials. So far 311 household cooking stoves have been constructed by the trained members in their respective communities. These technologies also reduce the time women and girls spend in fetching firewood (wood fuel) needed for the house and health benefits associated with smoke free cooking environment as well as preventing accidents from open fires
The National Coordinator of the Adaptation to Climate Change in the Lake Victoria Basin Basin, Eng. Pamela Agaba, both public and private sector actors including health centers are adjusting and adapting to the use of modern institutional energy saving stoves as a way of demonstrating their commitments to reducing biomass loss occasioned by tree cutting for fire fuel.
She said, although Uganda and Africa at large contribute insignificant emissions, no institution should wait for the worst to happen before they act.
LVBC executive secretary, who previously served as the regional project manager for ACC-LVB Dr. Masinde Bwire, also urged for the adoption of the modern stove technology in the other East African partner states in a bid to save the transborder ecosystem.
In addition, the project has also established woodlots by planting 35ha of land with local tree species (Musambia, Terminalia and Musizi) in Masaka District; and setting up of model farms for improved pasture management in Mubende district where pasture nurseries (for Cloris Gayana, brochiaria and Centro sema grass species) have been.
The project also supports the beneficiaries at household levels to practice soil and water conservation measures like use of contour bunds, agro-forestry where trees like Eucalyptus, Musiizi, Pondo, Mahogany, Grevilia and preferred fruit trees are planted, as well as mulching to reduce soil erosion.
The regional project is funded by Adaptation Fund through UNEP. It is a regional project being implemented in the 5 East African Community Members States of Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.