Story and Photos by Eric Dominic Bukenya/Office of the Speaker
Speaker of Parliament Anita Among has appealed to the government to consider reducing taxes on Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) as a safer alternative to traditional fossil fuels such as charcoal that she says have proven disastrous to the environment.
Recent reports reveal a concerning trend of significant forest cover loss due to widespread charcoal burning, posing a severe threat to our environment and biodiversity.
In her communication during the plenary sitting of Thursday, November 30, 2023, Ms Among noted that the continued over reliance on wood and charcoal for cooking is a very big environmental disaster, which, she said, must be confronted.
“As part of our continuous effort to conserve the environment and as we embark on the budgeting process for the coming financial year, I urge the Executive to consider tax incentives to reduce the cost of cooking gas and support energy efficient cooking systems so as to mitigate the loss of trees to charcoal burning,” she said.
Ms Among’s guidance aligns with global efforts to transition towards safer energy sources aimed at preserving and safeguarding the environment.
Environmentalists also emphasise the importance of adopting cleaner energy alternatives such as making gas more affordable, which will persuade households and businesses to switch from more polluting energy sources.
This comes in the wake of alarming climate change reports across the country, marred by prolonged droughts.
“I reiterated my call to you leaders to champion environmental conservation through interventions such as tree planting to mitigate the adversity of climate change,” Ms Among said.
Reacting to her communication, Kitgum District Woman MP Lillian Aber noted that lowering taxes on gas would not only ease the financial burden on consumers but also aid a shift from charcoal which has become a major issue in Acholi Sub-region, to more sustainable energy options.
“Lowering prices of gas emerges as one of the practical and effective strategies for government to champion environmental conservation. This will reduce charcoal burning that has decimated forest cover,” she said.