As per data from the World Bank, approximately 58% of Uganda’s population lacks access to electricity. This is equivalent to 26.5 million individuals. People residing in off-grid communities resort to primitive technologies such as candles and kerosene lamps for lighting, while three-stone cook stoves are used for cooking. Tragically, this reliance on traditional methods results in over 40,000 Ugandans losing their lives due to indoor pollution. Furthermore, Uganda witnesses the depletion of 49.2 thousand hectares of forest cover due to the excessive use of firewood for cooking, contributing to emissions of approximately 23.5 million tons of CO₂.
The root of the problem isn’t the absence of clean energy technologies, as there are affordable, high-quality options available in the market. Instead, the challenge lies in establishing sustainable supply chains and distribution networks capable of making clean energy technologies accessible to all, including low-income individuals in remote off-grid communities and those deemed less profitable.
The solution to Uganda’s energy access challenges involves a multifaceted approach. By collaborating with other likeminded local Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) and Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs), we have efficiently distributed clean energy technologies to off-grid communities, providing a sustainable and affordable source of power. This initiative promotes clean energy technologies, raises awareness of their benefits, and offers financial solutions to make them accessible to low-income individuals. Additionally, through community awareness, education and training programs we ensure the proper use and maintenance of these technologies. We equally continue to advocate for supportive policies, monitoring and evaluation of the program’s impact, and a focus on environmental conservation to reduce deforestation and carbon emissions. Through this comprehensive approach, the goal is to improve living conditions, health, and economic opportunities for off-grid communities while contributing to environmental sustainability.