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Government Applauds WWF on Renewable Energy Strides

The State Minister for Energy, Hon. Eng Simon D’Unjanga commended WWF in Uganda for the efforts exhibited to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions while improving livelihoods of rural households.

The Minister made the remarks during his week-long inspection of the six min grid sites that WWF has constructed in partnership with the government agencies in the districts of Kasese and Rubirizi.

According to the state minister, all WWF’s interventions in different programs ranging from Forest and Biodiversity to Energy and Climate change have complemented government’s programs to achieve set targets in the vision 2040.

“WWF is one respected stakeholder in the development strides of our country and as Government we recognize its efforts to push our country to the next level. Government is ready to render its support where need arises and so, our doors are open for any discussions on how we can conserve nature as we improve people’s livelihoods,” he said.

D’Ujanga added that government, specifically, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) is planning to put in place clear regulatory provisions to protect private sector investment on the arrival of the mini grid in the community.

In his remarks, WWF’s Country Director, David Duli assured the minister that WWF shall continue to implement more interventions towards nature conservation. He also asked the minister to support any bills that look at stopping any acts of environmental degradation.

“We hope that during the construction of the oil pipe lines, nature is sensitively considered”, he appealed.
David added that Government should increase budgeting for off-grid solutions and foster public – private sector partnerships to attract private sector financing as a way of increasing access to renewable energy in hard to reach areas.

WWF in partnership with government through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) is in the final stages of construction of six solar powered mini grids with capacity of more than with a total capacity of 170.625kW in six villages of Kasese and Rubirizi Districts. These will supply power to 900 households and 205 small businesses.

The mini grids will produce energy for lighting, commercial and other productive uses to business and mainly lighting and phone charging to households.

This will create new opportunities for livelihood improvement through productive use of electricity, will serve to create at least 400 new jobs, and will contribute to sustainable and inclusive economic growth in these rural communities.

Through working with other community based CSOs, WWF under the same project has distributed 3,074 solar home systems and 51 institutional solar systems to schools and health centres in 20 districts of the Albertine graben.

With funding from the European Union, WWF is implementing the Scaling-Up Rural Electrification Using Innovative Solar PV Distribution Models Project overall objective of the project is to improve rural livelihoods and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions through widespread access to clean and renewable sources of energy by 2025.
© Happy Ali
State Minister for Energy Hon. Eng Simon D’Ujanga (Third from right), WWF Country Director David Duli (in a panda branded t-shirt) and other officials from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development as local government inspecting Kasenyi Mini grid site