Fake products frustrate renewable energy business in Bunyoro

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A solar panel installed at the slope of Kibiro Hill in the valley of Lake Albert, Kigorobya Sub-county in Hoima District. Solar energy is among the clean energy sources that are health and environmentally friendly; highly recommended for daily use to rid the environment of greenhouse gas dangerous to both environment and health. (Photo: Kazi-njema News).

Dealers in renewable energy technologies in Bunyoro sub region have decried the growing presence of fake products on the market; compromising the work of genuine dealers.

They demand the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) to take the matter seriously and implement its mandate to eliminate fake products to save efforts geared towards promoting renewable energy for environmental conservation.

Under their umbrella ‘Mid Albertine Sustainable Energy Network’ (MASEN), the dealers say counterfeit energy products have triggered unfair competition against the genuine dealers since fake products are cheaply sold.

Ms Mary Nabulime, the network coordinator says fake products have discredited all renewable energy technologies hence frustrating efforts to reduce fossil fuels that contribute to greenhouse effects.

“Fake products are killing the revolution and its uptake of clean energy because clients prefer to go for cheaper products which are not durable, non-environmental friendly and harmful to people’s lives,” she said.

The fake products include energy saving stoves, solar panels and biogas systems.

Ms Nabulime says they have resolved to work jointly with other stakeholders including church leaders, women groups, the media and the civil society fraternity to heighten community sensitisation on the existence, importance of identifying and procuring genuine technologies.

Mr James Munaku, the chairperson for Kijura Central Saving Group which also deals in improved cooking stoves commended renewable energy technologies as durable, cost effective and health and environmental friendly since they emit less smoke.

Ms Robinah Kamanyire, the coordinator of M-Kopa solar energy and cook stoves highlighted the need for more promotions of clean energy technologies to change some people’s negative attitude about them which narrows down the market.

Mr Benedicto Waniala, the Manager for Biomas Unit and lecturer at Nyabyeya Forestry College in Masindi district advises dealers in clean energy technologies to ensure they are registered and certified.

According to him, it will also help to fight against fake dealers since the clients will have genuine options at their disposal.

These were speaking to Kazi-njema News alongside their workshop on renewable energies in Hoima city last week.

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