- It’s a new 132 KV power line from Opuyo to Moroto
- Covers at least five districts of Soroti, Amuria, Katakwi, Napak and Moroto
- Many Ugandans will be catered for under the Rural Electrification Program
By Fred Wanyama
Government has boosted electricity supply to the Teso and Karamoja regions following the completion of the 132 KV Opuyo -Moroto transmission powerline.
Registering yet another major milestone , the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) headed by the newly appointed Minister Ruth Nankabirwa said that the new transmission powerline will improve electricity capacity and reliability in the Karamoja region.
In statement released by the Ministry and signed by the Permanent Secretary , Mr. Robert Kasande, said that the new 132KV Opuyo- Moroto -powerline was switched on July 9th 2021 by Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) and it covers 162 km of double circuit, traversing the districts of Soroti, Amuria, Katakwi, Napak and Moroto and comes along with a new substation at Moroto.
“This achievement will support the development of major industries as well as increase electricity demand in the area. The region already has the Tororo cement and Mable factories in Moroto district , the statement said in part .
The project which was funded by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) at a cost of USD 103 million also financed the construction of distribution powerlines implemented by the Rural Electrification Programme (REP). The distribution powerlines included 709.4km of a distribution network at 33kV, over 159 km of Low Voltage (LV) network, installation of 104 distribution transformers and electricity connections of 2,412 consumers in the districts of Soroti, Moroto, Amudat, Nakapiririt, Nabilatuk, Napak, Kotido, Kaboong, Abim, and Kitgum.
“Both the transmission and distribution components of the project have paid attention to the environmental and social safeguards aspects, including the compensation of the project affected persons (PAPS). The government of Uganda has spent UGX 3,215,401,650 on acquiring the corridor for the transmission line while the community provided free right of way corridor for the distribution component, “ the Ministry stated .
The Minister and technical staff commended the communities in Teso and Karamoja regions for allowing the project to pass through their land and assured them that the project will come with a lot of benefits towards social-economic development of the areas it traverses. “We ask the region to take advantage of the increased capacity of power supply brought about by this project. The power should not only be used for lighting but also to support the much needed small, medium and large industries to spar development. The new Minister while assuming office said that government’s priority in the next five years would be to extend power to as many Ugandans as possible and make it cheaper to spur economic growth and national development .
The government officials appealed to the communities to always embrace Government infrastructure projects and avoid unnecessarily blocking them from passing through their land because it delays development.
“We have had challenges most notably in Tororo districts where Government projects have been blocked for years. We can’t demand for Government services and when an opportunity presents itself, we block projects intended to support good service delivery and for the benefit of the entire country. We also appeal to the general public to stay away from all powerlines and report any vandals to the authorities.”
The Ministry thanked the UETCL and REP teams for “ an outstanding job well done.” The work was carried out with support from the Consultant Ghods Niroo Engineering Company, Fara Gostar Bistoon company for the transmission component and Nanjing Daji Steel Tower Manufacturing Company Limited for the distribution component.
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