‘Firewood, charcoal, now leading cause of death in Uganda’


Indoor emissions are now the leading cause of death in Uganda with over 130,000 deaths per year, according to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.

At least 90 percent of rural households, and over 80 percent in urban, use firewood and charcoal for cooking and most of it is done indoor.

Assistant Commissioner for renewable energy John Tumuhimbise says women and the elderly are the most affected, urging for more use of cleaner energy.

This while speaking at the release of research findings on Energy Standards by the Uganda National Alliance of Clean Cooking.


There is an increase in demand for charcoal in East Africa, resulting into further degradation of the environment, since Kenya banned unlicensed charcoal trade earlier this year.

The ban coincided with the global efforts to curb charcoal exports from Somalia, both aimed at preventing destruction of the environment.

In March, Uganda also issued a ban on Charcoal exports to Kenya, but this has had no impact as more charcoal is smuggled out, causing a 50 percent rise in prices.

95 percent of Uganda’s urban households use Charcoal either as a sole source of cooking energy or to supplement electricity and gas.

John Tumuhimbise is also the chairman of The Uganda Alliance on Clean Cooking: