It is generally asserted that Clean Energy Projects across rural communities is sub-Saharan Africa or in different parts of an expanded East African Community, including Uganda, would help more poor people living in rural areas deploy sustainable energy resources and increase local electricity production capacity, for off grid and micro grid community power services, which would enable them to achieve a great measure of poverty reduction and sustainable eradication, while winning the war against hunger and malnutrition.
In Uganda over 85% of a population of about 35 million people do not have access to grid quality electricity or any electric power at all. This is a staggering number of people, most of whom live and work in rural areas, such as rural communities of the West Nile sub-region of north western Uganda.
A promising answer to this persistent problem could be found in deployment and application of renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind and small hydro, to provide off grid and micro grid electricity to power rural communities out of vicious cycle of poverty and into bettering conditions and standards of living, in a highly sustainable environment.
We know and agree that solar and wind energy can be reliable, affordable and clean source of electric power, for lighting and heating homes, businesses, providing better and safe study environment and times for school children, improving women’s and children’s health and lives. Providing and improving access to information technologies, education and skills training.
We can therefore use this environmentally clean source of electric power, which is increasingly becoming affordable and highly sustainable to create and develop Community Information Centres, for vulnerable people living in rural communities.
This would bring more opportunities and countless benefits to rural poor farmers, through provision of power for sustainable irrigation projects in drier land conditions, helping to increase land under active and effective cultivation, enabling local farmers and their communities access to information technologies, through which to obtain required knowledge of best agricultural practices, improved crop production and management techniques, improved and high quality seeds, instant pricing for crops, other farm produce and better access to markets, where they can sell their agricultural products at fair prices, by being able to cut off middlemen.
Besides, it would also offer ample access to information technology education and training to both children and mature adults, living and working in rural areas, through use of computers well equipped with internet capability, books, local newspapers and other educational materials and supplies.
It would instantly facilitate linking up different rural communities with each other, in a sub-region, then with the entire country and finally with the rest of the global world.
Opportunities for further education, skills training, entrepreneurial achievement and success, environmental conservation, protection and sustainable management and as well as sports, recreation and cultural activities are endless and only waiting to be fully explored and exploited.
This is the fundamental reason why we argue that the West Nile sub-region of north western Uganda, urgently needs deployment and development of solar and wind energy technologies, to help power rural communities out of vicious cycle of abject poverty, in an affordable, renewable, reliable, dependable and sustainable way, while taking full stewardship of the local natural environment, erasing carbon foot print and combating climate change and it’s impact on the environment.