UN-Habitat Train Municipal Councils on Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Buildings in Eastern Uganda

Electricity demand in housing in Uganda is rapidly growing and today the supply capacity is continually failing to keep up with this demand. Prices of electricity are also continually rising tremendously with continuous inefficiency in energy use. Sustainable Development and economic growth is thus very slow in the country. Furthermore, the concept of energy efficiency remains vague not only to architects, engineers and other practitioners but also the general public.

UN-Habitat under the project ‘Promoting Energy Efficiency in Buildings in East Africa’ (EEBEA) was organized by UN-Habitat and facilitated by the Ministry of Lands; Housing and Urban Development (MLHUD) organized a training exercise in April 2014 for professionals relevant to the built environment from the different municipalities, town councils and district councils. Participants included town clerks, district/town engineers, physical planners, environment officers, natural resource officers, health officers and district administrators.

Participants were met in their respective offices of duty within the municipal councils/town councils/ district offices within Kamuli, Jinja, Iganga, Bugiri, Tororo and Busia districts in Eastern Uganda. These districts were nominated by MLHUD. The training team was composed of the staff from UN-Habitat and the Ministry.

The main aim of this training exercise was to sensitize municipalities about the benefits of sustainable and energy efficient design practices and to generate feedback from the technical note on the green building checklist. This checklist was developed for use by planning authorities, physical planning committees and building practitioners. It covers issues like

  • Site planning
  • Building orientation
  • Passive design
  • Renewable energy
  • Water efficiency
  • Environmental protection

Municipal councils in Uganda are major stakeholders for the project and their active involvement is key to its success. There is need for some of Uganda’s major municipalities not only to understand the concept of energy efficiency but also practice and advise its initiatives in their work. There is need for a comprehensive approach to housing delivery by municipal councils right from the design stage to construction and to management and use of buildings. The general public however, is also a major catalyst to the success of the project. Municipal councils can play a major role of creating awareness within the various regions by having the public continually reading and speaking about it in public discussions and other local platforms.