Govt to extend free power connection

What you need to know:

The five-year project, funded by the World Bank with a budget of $638 million (approximately Shs2.4 trillion), commenced in July last year

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development is set to execute 68,000 power connections in Kagadi District under the Electricity Access Scale-up Project (EASP).

The five-year project, funded by the World Bank with a budget of $638 million (approximately Shs2.4 trillion), commenced in July last year.

The EASP project, launched earlier this year in Mitooma District by Vice President Jesca Alupo, aims to provide free power connections nationwide. The launch followed the signing of the implementation agreement between the Ministry of Energy, UMEME and other Service Providers.

The EASP programme intends to connect more than one million customers on the grid for free.

This was revealed by the Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa while presiding over the belated Women’s Day Celebrations for Kagadi District at Mpeefu Model Primary School in Mpeefu Town Council last week.

According to Minister Nankabirwa, priority would be given to people who have been staying near electric poles.

“We have 68,000 short connections that we are going to do for people who have been staying near the poles,” the minister said.

Ms Nankabirwa urged locals to ensure their homes are properly wired.

She highlighted that access to electricity would significantly enhance their quality of life and drive social transformation.

“The politicians should always lobby for such programmes other than promising air to the electorate,” Minister Nankabirwa said.

Ms Jennifer Mbabazi, the Kagadi Woman MP, highlighted the district’s longstanding issue with power extension to rural areas and urged the ministry to address this concern.

“I want to request the Ministry of Energy to extend power to the villages because it is only in the trading centres,” Ms Mbabazi said.

Meanwhile, Mr Barnabas Tinkansimire, the Buyaga West MP, raised concerns about land grabbers threatening to evict residents.

“The area is experiencing a big challenge of land grabbers who are threatening to evict our people anytime,” the MP said.

Residents also voiced other challenges, including poor roads, illegal land titles, and limited access to government programmes.