THE Vice President, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, has launched a rechargeable lamp in a drive aimed at phasing out the kerosene lamp.
The lamp is recharged by solar energy.
â€œIt is a big day for me as I see a change from the terrible kerosene lamp to the rechargeable LED lantern,â€ Bukenya said.
â€œThe kerosene lamp is a danger to Africa. It is a killer. Every time you light a lamp, you get carbon-monoxide, and when you inhale it, it goes into your blood system and kills,â€ he told ministers and diplomats at the Kampala Serena Hotel.
Bukenya noted that although many people think the kerosene lamp is cheap, they spend about sh184,000 on lighting it every year.
The rechargeable LED lantern is expected to cost about sh120,000. It is an environmentally-friendly product because it does not emit carbon-dioxide.
Bukenya said the Government encourages the use of solar power for heating and lighting, especially in rural areas.
â€œWith the coming of the solar lantern, we have completed our struggle. I thank SANYO (Japanese firm) for making Uganda a priority, because there are many countries that use kerosene lamps,â€ he said as he invited the Japanese firm to manufacture the lamps locally.
Bukenya said the Government would provide land for the venture.
Japanese envoy to Uganda Keiichi Kato observed that a stable supply of electricity was vital for poverty reduction and economic growth because it serves as a basis for socio-economic activities.
He said private and foreign investment in the energy sector is vital for enhanced power supply in the country.
Kato expressed concern over the alarming rate of global warming and called for efforts to maximise energy efficiency.
The SANYO chief regional officer, Takashi Hirao, said two billion people in the world lack electricity and many have developed health problems due to harmful smoke inhaled from kerosene lamps.
The firm donated 250 lanterns and a solar charger to Balibaseka Secondary School in Wakiso district.
Kerosene lamp a health hazard - VP