Friday February 1 2013

New power station excites residents, boosts business

President Museveni (in military fatigue) tours the Kabalega Hydro Power Dam in Hoima District

President Museveni (in military fatigue) tours the Kabalega Hydro Power Dam in Hoima District before commissioning it last week. PHOTO BY FRANCIS MUGERWA. 

By Francis Mugerwa

For many communities in Hoima that have never accessed electricity, the commissioning of Kabalega Hydro Power Dam brought relief.

Recently switched on by President Museveni, the dam is generating 9 mega watts and the residents of Kabaale, Bukerenge, Karongo, Kibanjwa, Buhiga, Bulemwa, Nyakabingo sub-counties have started seeing power in their houses.

Even Hoima Municipality, which used to have intermittent power, now has relatively stable supply.

Leaders have also joined the excitement bandwagon, urging residents to engage in small scale manufacturing.

“We should stop selling raw agricultural products and process them. We have ready market in West Nile, Congo and Southern Sudan,” the district chairperson, Mr George Bagonza, told the Daily Monitor recently.

Hydromax Ltd chief executive officer Venugopal Rao said many villagers are benefitting from a road that connects Buseruka Sub-county to Hoima Municipality, which wasconstructed at the commencement of the project.
Mr Rao said many residents can now transport their agricultural products and access health centres.

“We recruited a number of local staff who were trained in in the operation of hydro power projects. This contributed to job creation and boosted employment,” he added.

Energy minister Irene Muloni, while at the project launch last week, said the power has been wired from the dam in Buseruka Sub-county to Kinubi Power Station in Hoima Town, where it has been added to the national grid.

“We urge the people in the region (Bunyoro) to take advantage of the power, roads being constructed and other opportunities that are accruing from oil operations,” MsMuloni said.