Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) has asked financial institutions to come up with special financial packages that will enable the population acquire good quality electric cooking equipment but pay in instalments.
According to ERA Chief Executive Officer, Eng. Ziria Waako Tibalwa, whereas domestic electricity customers may want to use electricity for cooking, some cannot afford the electric cooking equipment.
She says financial institutions can therefore come up with special arrangements to enable the population acquire such equipment and pay in manageable instalments.
Eng. Ziria says when ERA came up with an initiative aimed at encouraging domestic customers to use electricity for cooking, it recognized the fact that a number of customers cannot afford electric cooking equipment. She however, says with a special package on payment in place, many people will acquire the equipment and pay the banks in small agreed amounts.
ERA is currently running a campaign dubbed ‘Fumbisa Yaka’ or Cook with Electricity wherein the customer is charged tariffs going as low as Shs412 per unit.
“Cooking with electricity is clean, convenient and promotes environmental sustainability. Whereas it’s true a number of customers cannot afford electric cooking equipment, some customers have it but it is not primarily used or is underutilized. There are also customers who possess the required resources but have shunned electric cooking in preference of wood or charcoal options. These customers constitute ERA’s short term targets” she explained.
Ziria says, besides targeting these customers, ERA’s initiative seeks to interest equipment suppliers and vendors to bring on the market efficient products suitable for use by the population.
“We shall also engage financial institutions to extend special financial packages to the population and enable them to acquire good quality and suitable equipment in manageable payment instalments” she says.
Ziria says currently, a pilot project is being undertaken at Mulago hospital where the hospital with the help of both ERA and UNDP has installed a state of the art electric kitchen.
“ERA will monitor it’s consumption to ascertain the likelihood of a full transition to electric cooking. Depending on the outcome, ERA and UNDP intend to assist other institutions in this category to fully transition to electric cooking in order to promote clean cooking and environmental sustainability” she says.
Under the Declining Block tariff established in 2020 and the extra large tariff established in 2019 benefiting Manufacturers, the declining block tariff for domestic customers also refered to as ‘Cooking Tariff’ is part of the new tariffs structure for 2022 resulting from a tariff review exercise done by ERA during the last quarter of 2021. Under this mechanism, a domestic customer can purchase up to 70 units at Shs412 per unit after purchase of 80units per month.
FOREST COVER LOSS IN UGANDA AT A GLANCE
According to Global Forest Watch, 10000 years ago, 57% of world’s habitable land (6billion hectares) was covered by forests. Today, only 4billion hectares are left. Some of the causes for this include growth in human population and therefore an increase in demand for forest products for use both domestically and in industries.
In Uganda, the country lost 668 hectares of tropical forest cover in 2002, lost 4559 in 2012 and 3585 in 2020.
Generally, Uganda lost 29659 hectares of forest in 2001, lost 65067 in 2011 and 73603 hectares in 2020.
Statistics indicate that between 2001-2010, Gulu district had the highest forest cover loss rate standing at 13953 hectares followed by Mubende which had 13736 hectares destroyed and Kibaale standing at 18484 among others.
Majority of the forests have been cleared for charcoal burning and wood for cooking at home, but Eng. Ziria cautions that nature and environment must be utilized sustainably since they are the major sources of energy for the current and future generations.