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Firewood Ban in Pallisa Town Council Meets Resistance

The authorities imposed a directive to stop firewood use in restaurant kitchens to reduce health related disease caused by smoke, and made the adoption of clean energy like biogas a condition to continue operating a restaurant
18 Feb 2021 16:08

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The move by Pallisa Town Council Authorities to stop restaurant operators from using firewood for cooking faces resistance, as owners claim that the price of Biogas is high compared to firewood.

On Wednesday, the authorities imposed a bad on firewood use in restaurants to reduce on diseases caused by smoke. The health department passed a resolution requiring the operators to adopt Biogas technology if they are to continue to operate restaurants.

According to Town Council health authorities, the harvesting of firewood for cooking fuel has contributed to deforestation, soil erosion and loss of agriculture and grazing environments, with serious impacts on livelihood opportunities in agriculture and forestry in the area.

Pallisa is bwliwvwd to bw one leading districts with high levels tree cutting for firewood and charcoal as the predominant source of energy. Recently the sub counties of Kibale, Agule, Kibale banned the charcoal business which had already turned into a booming venture for mnay poor people.

Speaking to URN , Vingolobi  Okanya Okito one of the restaurant owners expressed dissatisfaction saying the authorities passed a harsh resolution, that most of them cannot manage to abide by given the financial constraints from Covid-19 and can't buy Biogas.

 

Jesca Apolot and Stella Aguti, both restaurant owners in Pallisa Town Council insisted that authorities should have called for community sensitization before passing it, adding that they are used to using firewood since time immoral.

They added that what they get from restaurants business is not even enough to carter for housekeep, and they cannot save in order to buy gas, calling on the health department to be considerate to the locals.

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Meanwhile Samuel Opolot the Principal Health Inspector at Pallisa Town Council says the move is also aimed at preventing environmental degradation through outdoor pollution caused by smoke resulting in  health respiratory disease.

Opolot says the decision was taken after careful consideration and consultation with the Environmental department.

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In Uganda, over 90% of household energy is derived from biomass firewood and charcoal with most of it is used for cooking while firewood is more common in rural areas.