Refugee, host communities to get clean energy

Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, launches the energy response plan for refugee hosting districts to enable them access clean energy and relieve pressure on forests and wetlands in search of timber, wood and biomass for cooking and lighting. (Image: Courtesy)

Government has embarked on supporting the refugee and host communities to attain universal access to affordable, reliable and clean energy for socio-economic transformation in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Launching the four-year (2022-2025) Sustainable Energy Response Plan (SERP) for refugees and the host communities programme, Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja, said the development of sustainable and effective energy solutions that lead directly to increased access to this initiative is a priority for the government.

“We want to enhance capacity, mobilise resources and strengthen systems for effective coordination and management of energy programmes targeting refugees and host communities and in line with national and multi-sectoral policies, strategies and plans,” she said.

Energy and Mineral Development Minister, Dr Ruth Nankabirwa, said the comprehensive situational analysis and extensive stakeholder consultations identified several issues affecting refugees leading to the development of SERP.

She said issues identified in the refugees and host communities include insufficient access to affordable, clean energy for the needs of households, productive use and social institutions and unreliable supply and inefficient utilisation of energy.

Dr Nankabirwa added that there is over-reliance on biomass for cooking with inefficient methods combined with low access to alternative, sustainable cooking fuels or efficient cooking technologies as well as issues of environmental degradation due to the continued use of unsustainable energy sources.

The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Uganda, Matthias Schauer, said that the SERP launch will focus on and prioritise district level implementation.

“The Ugandan-German cooperation is especially strong within the energy sector. The German Government is committed to supporting sustainable energy access to the vulnerable communities in Uganda. We all look forward to seeing the SERP implemented and working together in attaining affordable, reliable, clean energy for refugees and host communities,” he said.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to Uganda, Mr Matthew Crentsil, said Uganda’s role as the biggest refugee host country in Africa and one of the world’s biggest in the world, with 1.5 million refugees has to be appreciated.

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