Wood Energy Catalogue

National Charcoal Survey for Uganda (2015)

Countries of implementation

A study to provide baseline information for the UNDP/GEF project “Addressing Barriers to Adoption of Improved Charcoal Production Technologies and Sustainable Land Management Practices through an Integrated Approach-Green Charcoal Project”. It presents an analytical status of charcoal production, supply and usage in Uganda.

With findings on the following issues

- Policy and regulatory framework; Charcoal feedstock systems and barriers to sustainable supply; Charcoal production and technologies used; Charcoal supply patterns; Charcoal transportation; Charcoal consumption patterns; Charcoal pricing and marketing; Charcoal quality; Economic impact of the charcoal industry; Stakeholders in the charcoal value chain
- Wood sourcing for charcoal production: main source of wood for charcoal production in Uganda is from privately owned forests (43%), followed by central forest reserves (22%), on-farm trees (20%) and others (14%). Charcoal production is practiced in almost all the districts in Uganda, mainly from privately owned forests, following tree felling for construction or during land clearing for farming. There is no dedicated forest plantations for charcoal production. 101 tree and shrub species are used for charcoal production
- Time inputs: 41% of charcoal producers engage in full-time charcoal production; 48% of charcoal is produced during the wet season because producers readily access wet soil to cover the kilns. 36% of the producers noted that they mostly produce charcoal during the dry weather since they are less busy with agricultural activities. Majority of the charcoal producers conduct carbonization processes within their home localities
- Challenges to charcoal producers: High labour intensity, wood scarcity and health complications; Majority of charcoal producers utilize the earth mound kilns to produce charcoal; permanent improved kiln is not feasible for most charcoal burners, who engage in charcoal production as a part time activity; Charcoal production is commonly done on site (or near forests being cleared) to avoid the challenges of transporting wood to distant sites.
- Consumption: about 4,961 metric tonnes of charcoal is used by households in Uganda per day; About 837 metric tonnes of charcoal are supplied to Kampala per day in dry season and 1,017 metric tonnes of charcoal in the rainy season; In the urban areas, 65.7% of the households use charcoal while 33.4% use firewood for cooking. 49% of the institutions in Uganda use charcoal as the main fuel for cooking; Institutions consume a total of 887.3 metric tonnes of charcoal per day.
Uganda, wood, charcoal
Type of initiatives
Sector review and study
Program/Project Sub category
Effective governance
Level of intervention
Responsible agencies
Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD), UNDP/GEF