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Thursday, September 29, 2022

PM Nabbanja Launches Sustainable Energy Programme for Refugees

The Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja has launched a four-year (2022-2025) Sustainable Energy Response Plan (SERP) for refugees and the host communities to help  attain universal access to affordable, reliable, and clean energy for socio-economic transformation in an environmentally sustainable manner.

According to the Prime Minister, the development of sustainable and effective energy solutions that lead directly to increased access to clean, affordable and reliable energy for refugees and host communities is a priority for the Government of Uganda.

“We want to enhance capacity, mobilize resources and strengthen systems for effective coordination and management of energy programs targeting refugees and host communities, and in line with National and multi-sectoral Policies, Strategies and Plans,” Hon. Nabbanja said.

In a statement dated August 25, 2022, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Hon Ruth Nankabirwa said her Ministry led the SERP development efforts hand-in-hand with the Office of the Prime Minister, the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) Secretariat, Germany Corporation (GIZ), World Bank, and UNHCR.

PM Nabbanja with Energy Minster Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa

Ruth Nankabirwa added that Uganda is the first country to develop Sustainable Energy Response Plan (SERP) for refugees.

She said that the Ministry engaged a consultant, with support from GIZ, to work with the task force in developing the SERP from 2020 to 2021 and identified several issues affecting refugees that prompted the Development of SERP.

“Following comprehensive situational analysis and extensive stakeholder consultations, we identified several issues affecting refugees, leading to the development of SERP,” said Hon. Nankabirwa.

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

There is also 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 Germany to Uganda, Matthias Schauer, said that the SERP launch is perfect timing for the new phase of the CRRF that will focus on and prioritize 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, commended 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. He noted that sustainable energy development for refugees is a priority to UNHCR.

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