Patients pay for electricity as black-outs hit West Nile

Monday September 19 2011


West nile

Patients in most government hospitals in West Nile are being asked to contribute money towards the provision of alternative source of lighting as persistent blackouts bite harder in the sub – region.

In Arua and Nebbi referral hospitals, carrying out operations has become extremely difficult. Patients are being asked to contribute at least Shs1,000 to buy paraffin for lighting at night. On Friday, panic set in when about 18 patients could not take their scheduled operation in Arua Referral Hospital because there was no electricity.

Ms Margaret Ngamita, travelled from Pakwach town for hernia operation at Arua hospital, but was told to return on Tuesday because there was no power. “I wasted a lot of money in transport. If government does not tackle this issue, several patients will die,” she said.

About 10 deadlines have been issued for the completion of Nyagak power dam in Zombo District since President Museveni did a ground-breaking in February 2006. Although less than one per cent of the region’s population is connected to the electricity, in urban areas, majority of people depend on electricity. Mr John Adabo, an owner of a wood and metal welding workshop, says he could be pushed out of business if the situation persists.

In December 2006, CZECH construction firm and SKODAEXPORT Company Ltd started construction of Nyagak hydro-electric power dam in Nebbi District. The highly billed project had delayed for nearly two decades due to financial and procurement hurdles by government is largely perceived here as insensitive.