10 eastern districts to benefit from Shs16b rural electrification project

Workers of City Harvest Electricals Ltd erect an electricity pole at Kigalama Primary School, Namutumba Sub-county in Namutumba District on Tuesday.  PHOTO / PHILIP WAFULA

What you need to know:

  • The Namutumba Sub-county leaders said at least 200,000 people stand to benefit from the project in the sub-counties of Namutumba, Kizuba, Nsinze and Nawaikona.

The government has launched a Shs15.9b rural electrification scheme that will cover 10 districts in eastern Uganda.

The beneficiary districts include Namutumba, Iganga, Jinja, Mayuge, Kamuli, Busia, Bududa, Mbale, Tororo and Butaleja.

The State Minister for Mineral Development, Mr Peter Lokeris, unveiled the project at Kigalama Primary School, Namutumba Sub-county, Namutumba District, on Tuesday.

“The government has continued to prioritise the energy sector, with the efforts being evident in the sustainable energy developmental objectives highlighted in the National Development Plan III,” Mr Lokeris said.

He added: “Vision 2040 acknowledges energy as one of the key fundamental requirements to harness the country’s opportunities and drive the industrial and service sectors. Strong growth in the national economy is bound to increase the demand for energy and thus open the sector for further development.”

The goal

Mr Lokeris said achieving the right balance between energy, economy and environment will lead to sustainable development.

Namutumba District has 22 administrative units, including six town councils and 16 sub-counties. Two of the sub-counties; Namutumba and Kizuba, have no access to the national grid.

Specifically, in Namutumba, the project will, among other areas, cover Lugoko, the town councils of Lwamba, Kibaale 2, Bulafa, Kigalama, Nawansagwa, Kisimu, Kiziba, Igerera, Nakalokwe, Matyama, Bunyange and Mawungwe Village.

The Namutumba Sub-county leaders said at least 200,000 people stand to benefit from the project in the sub-counties of Namutumba, Kizuba, Nsinze and Nawaikona.

Mr Juma Bogere, a resident of Nawaikona Sub-county, said the project will save them the burden of taking their maize to Namutumba Town Council, a distance of more than 5kms, to mill it.

“Also, because of lack of electric or solar power in most schools in the sub-county, learners don’t have morning and evening preps, while the few health centres can’t offer laboratory services which require electric power,” he said.

The project is being funded by a loan from China, African Development Bank and the Ugandan taxpayer, while City Harvest Electricals, Supply Installation and Repairs Ltd are the contractors.

Mr Asuman Bogezi, the contract manager, said they hope to complete the project within the stipulated 15 months.

The Namutumba Resident District Commissioner, Mr Thomas Matende, appealed to the contractor to complete the works within the stipulated period and also give locals priority to provide labour.

The area Member of Parliament, Mr Paul Akamba, said: “...my humble request is that you [government] put us into consideration so as to be at 100 percent electricity coverage to spur development and move in tandem with the government programmes.”

The government has previously undertaken other rural electrification projects in Namutumba District at Kaiti-Nabikabala-Buwidi-Nabinyonyi to serve Kiwanyi Sub-county headquarters, Matyama-Mazuba to serve Magada, and Kagulu Sub-county headquarters, Irimbi-Namalemba-Nabinyonyi and Irimbi II to serve Mazuba Sub-county headquarters, Nabinyonyi-Mpande-Bugwe-Bupaluka-Lwatama to serve Nangonde Sub-county headquarters.

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