By Sierra Ruth Arinaitwe
In a bid to continue prioritizing the energy sector in Uganda, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) is extending the Rural Electrification Project to refugee settlement camps in Uganda.
Pagirinya refugee settlement camp in Adjumani District, a home to over 32,000 refugees displaced from South Sudan is one of the refugee camps now enjoying -access to clean energy provided under the Rural Electrification Project with support from the Norwegian Government.
While inspecting the Rural Electrification Project in the Pagirinya Refugee Settlement Camp, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Hon Ruth Nankabirwa urged the communities to use the electricity productively for social development.
“Access to sustainable energy contributes to a better quality life. To those that have modern energy, it unlocks access to improved healthcare and education, improves economic opportunities and catalyzes growth of human development indicators,” she said.
She observed that those that do not have modern energy services- it is a major constraint to their social and economic development with women bearing the brunt of energy poverty as they strive to support their families.
Local leaders said that t with access to electricity, the camp now accesses better medical and education services as well as improved security with aid of installed street lights in the path ways which will in turn lead to socio-economic development in Pagirinya.
The Permanent Secretary Eng. Irene Bateebe noted that Pagirinya’s electricity distribution network which was undertaken at a cost of Ugx. 3,273,216,627 covers 45km of electricity network of which 21kms was Medium Voltage (MV), 24kms Low Voltage (LV) and a total of 18 transformers.
She thanked the Norwegian government for the grant of a tune of Norwegian Kroner (NOK) 35 million to fund the electrification of Refugee Settlements in Northern Uganda in the districts of Adjumani, Yumbe and Koboko.
Hon. Nankabirwa also extended her thanks to the district leadership of Adjumani – Pagirinya for supporting the project throughout the implementation and urged the communities to have their houses wired and ready for connection.
She further pledged that her ministry is working towards extending electricity connection to the hosting communities, other refugee camp settlements and all other rural hard to reach areas by both supply from the national grid and use of off grid solar mini grids.
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