Wednesday July 30 2014

Shs14b rural power project launched

By Mudangha Kolyangha

The government, in conjunction with the World Bank has launched as $5.5m (about Shs14.4 billion) rural electrification project.

More than half a million people are expected to benefit from the four-year project which will be managed by the Rural Electrification Agency and will be implemented by the service providers licenced by the Electricity Regulatory Authority.

Umeme regional manager Adson Arinaitwe last week said: “The government under this programme has taken all the burden to meet all the costs by 100 per cent. The only thing one (customer) does is to carry out the due process, which involves wiring of the house by a certified technician before they could be connected to the power grid. ”

He said many people in eastern Uganda had applied to get electricity under the project, adding that Umeme had already started connecting some to the power grid.

Mr Arinaitwe said for one to qualify under the Output-Based Aid programme, he or she must be near the electricity line that had been there for the last 18 years and the applicant must be within 35 metres away from the pole.

“The government assumed that people near these electricity lines found it difficult to access power and this is why the government decided to meet all costs as well as reduce illegal connections that have left many dead,” Mr Arinaitwe said.