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Solving the Conflict between the National Park and Villages: Learning to cook and smoke fish more ef
By Kimbowa Richard - Joint Energy and Environment Projects (JEEP), Uganda.
What did JEEP Learn?
Representatives of the Joint Energy and Environment Project of Uganda (JEEP - an INFORSE member) visited the conservation project in the fishing villages of the Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The project is being implemented by CARE-Denmark through CARE-Uganda. We pooled our experience with that of CARE-Uganda’s staff. The visit enabled us to learn more about how the project tries to solve the conflict between the National Park’s authority and the community. The conflict was triggered by the people’s heavy reliance on fuel wood from the Park for fish processing. To ease the conflict the project is working on 3 areas described below: introducing efficient ovens to smoke fish, energy saving cooking stoves and tree planting nursery.
Fish Smoked in Oven
The efficient kiln, popularly known as “cover”, has been introduced by CARE to replace the traditional ones. About 5-10 kilns can be seen in each of the fishing villages that we visited.
The traditional inefficient fish kiln is made of clay, cow dung, wiremesh, and some metal parts. According to some users, the “cover” kiln works twice as fast as the older model and uses firewood worth $US 1.3 compared to $US 4 when using the traditional kiln. User fees are charged by individual or group owners to those who wish to use the kilns.
Artisans trained by CARE charge $US 10 for constructing the “cover” kiln, a cost paid by the owner(s). CARE provides wiremesh and iron sheets.
The fish is first cut to remove offals, washed, allowed to drip-dry, and placed in trays. The first 45 minutes of cooking is hot. Then the trays are removed and the fish is turned. Afterwards, a little heat is needed for about one hour. Within 6 hours, the fish has a nice aroma and is ready for sale. The different varieties of smoked fishes are seen in the markets of towns even as far away as Kampala.
Energy Saving Stoves
There are 2 types of stoves, “Lorrena” and “Peko pe”, which are used outdoors. Due to the mobility of the fishermen, no effort is put into investing in constructing kitchens. The “Lorrena” stove is used more than the “Peko pe”.
Materials useful to make the “Lorrena” stove - sand, clay, cow and buffalo dung - are easily available in the fishing villages. The stoves constructed outside the kitchens are modified to suit this situation. Nevertheless, there is need for increased sensitization of users about correct construction of the “Lorrena” stove; especially, about correct mixing of sand and clay and about correct stove size.
The “Peko pe” is a metal stove only used by fishermen when they are outside of their homes and want to prepare fast, easily cooked food. Artisans have been trained by CARE-Uganda, for instance, at Katunguru, to construct “Peko pe” stoves. Some of these stoves, however, are believed to be sold to places outside the fishing villages.
The drawback to the use of “Peko pe” arises from the problems if one wants to add more fuel wood to it during cooking, because then all parts of the stove are hot. Also, the excess heat from it is a potential danger to children. Another problem is that it requires dry firewood. It can use wood alternatives like saw dust and coffee husks, but these are not available in the area. (See article in SEN Nr. 14)
Trees Planted, But.....
Trees have been planted to supply firewood and construction materials for the fisher folk. CARE helps to support tree farming including raising tree seedling in the villages, with linkages to the District Forest Departments. Woodlots of mainly Eucalyptus, having 1,000 to 4,000 trees planted by individuals, are now up to three years old. Other trees planted include Neem, Markhamia , Grevillia, Lira, Senna siamea, and Jacaranda.
Wild animals like elephants, buffaloes, and hippos, as well as domestic animals, mainly goats, uproot, graze on, and trample the trees that are planted. The prolonged drought has also affected previously planted trees. Similarly, administrative drawbacks affect group tree nurseries, but individually managed ones seem not to experience this problem.
In all, the tree planting needs more extension support, and timely provision of desired tree seeds. Perhaps the most pressing problem is the supply of the tree seedlings from the nurseries, as the willingness to pay for seedlings is too low to support the cost of maintaining the nurseries.
Ideas for Future Training
We hope that a collaborative training work plan can be developed by JEEP and CARE during the second phase of this project.
• Training could be improved by easy-to-read reference materials, more follow-up schedules for trained individuals, monitoring of the stoves constructed, and inter-village visits. Use could be made of music, dance, drama, and best-practice competitions to raise awareness of the issues and to promote the technology. Business skills could be considered to improve.
• The training could also focus more on the users as trainers within the fishing villages to complement the work of the Community Based Extension Agents for each fishing village.
Cooperating Networks
Our study visit was supported by the FED and INFORSE Networks. It strengthened the collaboration between the members of these networks respectively CARE-Denmark and JEEP. (see box)
CARE is a philanthropic association working to provide development aid. CARE believes that “Helping people to help themselves” and “participant-driven projects” are key to sustainability and success. The United Nations contribute to CARE´s project funding. CARE provides millions of dollars in aid to 63 countries each year.
CARE-Denmark is one of 10 national member organisations. CARE-Denmark is also member of the Danish NGO umbrella organisation, the Forum for Energy and Development (FED), which hosts the INFORSE Secretariat and financially supports it.
Contact: CARE Denmark, Noerrebrogade 68B, 2200 Copenhagen N,
Denmark. Ph: +45-35368858, fax: +45-35-368878,

The Project
Project Area: Queen Elizabeth National Park, covering 2000 km2.
Target group: 5000 households in 13 villages.
Time frame: 1996-98 (phase 1), 1998-2003 (phase 2).
Total budget: USD 1 million (phase 1).
Donor: DANIDA, Danish International Development Agency.
Partners: Uganda Wildlife Authority, CARE-Uganda
Number of Employees: 15 local staff.

JEEP, the Joint Energy & Environment Project has been an associate member organisation of INFORSE since 1997. JEEP is a national association that was established 15 years ago. It has 500 active individual members and 30 groups focused on the needs of youth, women, and children. Its primary purposes are nature conservation and the linking of the issues of environment with those of energy. To cover part of its cost, JEEP offers to other NGOs various services in training, research, and construction of efficient stoves.
Contact: JEEP, Kabalagala, Gaba road, PO Box 4264, Kampala, Uganda. Ph: +256-41-267303,
fax:+256-41-345597 (GPO), e-mail:
Richard Kimbowa, Program Officer, JEEP, Uganda. Richard is 30 years old, BSc in Forestry in 1994. He is doing training for communities, research and organise events.

- Efficient kiln to smoke fish. Note the 4 trays and the iron sheet covering them.
- Changing fish on the trays.
- “Lorrena” stove - from sand, clay, cow and buffalo dung.
- “Peko Pe” stove - from steel with a pot
- Tree nursery by traditional efforts
- Seedling protection keeping away animals
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ISSUE #28 (981KB) 20 pages (2000-02-28)
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