What you need to know:
- Mr Peter Kaujju, the head of Communications at Umeme, says vandalism of the electricity installations has caused Shs26b loss countrywide.
For the second time in one month, suspected vandals, targeting the power lines in Nakasongola District have paralysed work at the newly-commissioned meat plant, among other businesses.
More than 20 electricity poles in areas of Migyeera Town Council have been cut down.
The vandals target the power cables from the high voltage powerlines after vandalising the poles.
The Nakasongola District chairperson, Mr Sam Kigula, said the vandals have always targeted Walusi Village.
“The vandals have always cut down the electric poles and taken away the electric wires. It is unfortunate but we are yet to arrest the suspects,” he said.
Mr Jonathan Akweteireho, the Nakasongola deputy Resident District Commissioner, said the vandals have targeted the same area in one month.
“We are yet to get a report from Umeme, the national power distributor, regarding the estimated cost of the vandalised electrical installations, but we believe that the damage is big and a huge loss to the taxpayers. Our industrialists have been badly affected in areas where the vandals are executed,” he said in an interview on Monday.
Mr Idris Ali Elgadhi, the managing director at Pearl Meat Industries, where operations at the factory have been halted due to power outage, lamented the disruption.
“We need power to pump the water for industrial use. All our machines are heavy duty and need stable power to have successful operations. We have always been forced to postpone the animal slaughter because of the power blackout that greatly impacts on the business operations,” he said.
Mr Peter Kaujju, the head of Communications and Public Relations at Umeme, said vandalism of the electricity installations has caused an estimated Shs26b loss countrywide.
“While we are fully committed to ensuring that the country has stable power. The vandals are causing us heavy losses. The power losses do not only affect the industrialists, but also many other people that use the power for the different activities,”he said, adding the Shs26b is the 2021 figure.
Recently, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Minister, Ms Ruth Nankabirwa, suggested a joint team composed of the police and UPDF to crack down on the electricity power vandals.
“We cannot continue with this trend… Their actions amount to economic sabotage,” she said.
Whereas other factors such as technical faults, and bad weather contribute to the power outage in most parts of the country, theft of copper cables, angle bars and vandalism of electric poles are always the main cause of power outage.
Vandals are said to be making a fortune to scrap dealers while other items are sold to private electrical suppliers, mainly in Kampala.
Last December, parts of Mukono and Wakiso districts were thrown into darkness for several days after the transmission lines from Owen Falls Dam to Lugogo substation in Kampala, were vandalised. According to Umeme, the power losses affect their performance and keep the cost of electricity high.