The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Hon Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu has called upon Ugandans to embrace the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as an efficient and clean cooking technology, a viable alternative for a sustainable environment.
The former government Chief Whip in the 10th Parliament made this call while presiding over the launch of distribution of LPG “Cooking Gas” Starter Kits at Buggu- Zone, Busabala Parish, Makindye Ssaabagabo. She revealed that over the years, heavy reliance on biomass (firewood and charcoal) as the primary cooking energy has eroded Uganda’s national tree cover with adverse effects on the environment and the health of the population.
Nankabirwa noted that the use of LPG is in line with the mandate of the Ministry of Energy which aims to Establish, Promote Development, Strategically Manage and Safeguard the Rational and Sustainable Exploitation and Utilization of Energy and Mineral resources for Social and Economic Development.
“The National Development Plan (NDPIII) emphasizes the need for increased uptake of LPG, commonly referred to as “cooking gas”, at the household level as part of the Government’s efforts to improve the quality of life. Therefore, the Government of Uganda intends to support the development and use of LPG as an efficient and clean cooking technology and a viable alternative for a sustainable environment,” she said.
The Minister added that increased usage of LPG will address the problem of continued dependence on biomass, resulting in a massive reduction of plant cover, which is currently manifested through prolonged dry spells that have recently been experienced.
She said, “We continue to encourage Ugandan households to embrace the usage of LPG, which is clean and accessible. LPG has a higher heating value; it does not contain Sulphur, burns a lot cleaner than other energy resources, and burns consistently, making it more reliable than other forms of energy. That is why today, the Ministry has commenced the Distribution of LPG Starter Kits aimed at scaling up the usage of cooking gas in households. This intervention targets LPG cooking energy to grow from the current 0.8 per cent to 20 per cent of Ugandan households by the year 2030.”
According to Minister Nankabirwa, the government through the Ministry of Energy shall give out 1 million LPG Starter Kits to Ugandans for free – comprising locally manufactured 13kg cylinders with accessories and a cook stove. Also, the upfront payment for the Starter Kit has been a bottleneck for many families to convert from using biomass to LPG, yet it is clean, saves time and is relatively healthier.
Meanwhile, LPG Starter Kits will be given freely to deserving households not using LPG who will be required to pay for the gas. The Kits will be distributed on behalf of the Ministry by Vivo Energy Uganda, Total Energies Marketing Uganda Ltd and Stabex International Uganda Ltd, starting 12th July 2022. The companies shall distribute the cylinders to the households in different parts of the country following the agreed guiding criteria.
During the campaign period, the Ministry of Energy shall at the same time be addressing the current awareness gaps, transportation and storage aimed at improving the usage of LPG.
As a way of promoting the use of clean energy, the Government introduced tax reforms in the 2020/2021 financial year that exempted LPG from the Value Added Tax (VAT) to make LPG affordable.
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