In Uganda, free cooking gas

Cooking gas

The pack includes 13-kilogramme cylinders with accessories and a cook stove.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

As inflation and cost of living continue to rise across Africa, Ugandans can sigh in relief over the cost of cooking energy.

The government of President Yoweri Museveni has started a nationwide distribution of free Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) kits to catalyse a shift from using wood fuel.

Energy and Mineral Development Minister Ruth Nankabirwa, on Tuesday said one million kits would be distributed as starter packs to homes that cannot afford the initial cost of cooking gas.

"This intervention targets LPG cooking energy to grow from the current 0.8 percent to 20 percent of Ugandan households by the year 2030," she said in a statement.

The pack includes 13-kilogramme cylinders with accessories and a cook stove.

"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 added.

Over the years, heavy reliance on 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, according to the minister.

According to the state-run National Environment Management Authority, Uganda has registered better forest cover in recent years, despite increasing cases of illegal logging and forest destruction by encroachers.

The country's net forest cover rose from 9 percent in 2017 to 13 percent in 2020.

Meanwhile, Uganda's Health minister has tabled a bill before the country's parliament seeking to legalise human organ donation and transplant.

Ruth Aceng on Tuesday presented the Uganda Human Organ Donation and Transplant Bill, 2021 for first reading.

The Speaker of Parliament Anita Among referred the bill to the Parliamentary Committee on Health for scrutiny and report back within 45 days.

The objective of the bill, according to the ministry, is to establish a legal framework for the regulation of organ, cell and tissue donation and transplantation in the East African country.

Non-governmental organisations and civil society argue that there is an increase in illicit human organ trade in Africa, partly because of weak laws and enforcement, poverty and human trafficking.

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