A woman making briquettes in Kumi district. Photos by Francis Emorut
The advocates of clean cooking technologies have asked the Government to waive taxes on briquettes and instead tax charcoal.
They argued that by removing taxes on briquettes, it would encourage demand countrywide and discourage cutting of trees.
“Removing taxes on briquettes will enable its spread across the country. Trees have been cut tremendously, let the Government tax firewood and charcoal,” Ismail Muyinda the programme co-ordinator of Energy Without Borders, told participants during a meeting held in Kampala.
The meeting organised by Uganda National Alliance on Clean Cooking (UNACC) with support from World Wildlife Fund attracted manufacturers of improved cooking stoves.
Muyinda appealed to briquette makers to ensure that the product is displayed in all stalls where charcoal is being sold to increase its demand.
Briquettes are into two categories; with carbon oxide and non-carbon oxide made out of coffee husks, sugarcane residue, matooke peelings and rice husks among others.
Muyinda was supported by David Gerard, the managing director of Green Bio Energy, who said charcoal sellers are doing brisk business and, therefore, should be taxed.
“Why not tax charcoal. It is a lucrative business,” Gerard asked.
However, Justine Akubu an official from the energy ministry told the promoters of clean cooking technologies that Government cannot tax charcoal because it falls under the informal sector.
She, however, revealed that the Government is in the process of identifying companies which are selling branded charcoal in order to tax them.