Urban Adaptation to Energy Insecurity in Uganda
Paul Isolo Mukwaya
Current Urban Studies
The level of development of a society can be measured not only in terms of quantity of goods and services but also from the energy consumed. The importance of energy security derives from the critical role that it plays in all aspects of livelihoods of any society. The Government of Uganda is committed to well-planned urbanization and effective management of urban growth. This brings issues of low income settlements to the forefront of the national development agenda under one umbrella, but the
... provision of energy services to meet demand in low income settlements remains a critical challenge. Low income settlements in the four urban areas in Uganda were identified and a survey of energy demand patterns was conducted. This paper adopts ordered logistic regression modelling integrated with factor analysis (principal components analysis) to explore: 1) the relative importance of variable factors in determining household energy utilization, and 2) how they shape adaptation to energy insecurity within and across low-income settlements in selected urban centres in Uganda. Results indicate that, although charcoal use is uniform across all households, a large percentage of the slum population is heavily dependent for its energy services on multiple energy sources. Furthermore, households are burdened with relatively high retail prices for energy, electricity instabilities and wood shortages and wasteful/inefficient energy use. The logistic model indicates that household size, the share of adults in the household and gender in combination explain the utilization of firewood and electricity. Furthermore, adaptation strategies to energy insecurity coalesce around self-generation and use of improved energy technologies, adjustments in cooking practices and energy substitutions, and adjustments in sleeping schedules. Urban areas in Uganda are the residences of the future and efforts aimed at building energy security are very important.