GOVERNMENT TO SUPPORT THE COMMUNITIES AFFECTED BY THE DEVELOPMENT OF KARUMA HYDRO POWER PLANT IN A 30BN ACTION PLAN-NANKABIRWA

By Our Reporters

in Nwoya

Government will support the communities  displaced by the construction of the  Karuma Hydro Power Plant  in Nwoya district Acholi  sub region in a three year 30bn Community Development Action Plan (CDAP), Energy  Minister Ruth Nankabirwa has announced .

 “These large scale infrastructure developments, as you may have witnessed, come with pressure on Social services, social infrastructure and livelihoods. We are fully aware of the displacement of communities from Karuma who have now settled in Nwoya District, mainly around Purongo and Olwiyo.

“That’s why the government of Uganda has deliberately embedded the Community Development Action Plan (CDAP)  intervention to rectify these socio-economic disruptions to enable the affected community cope with the changes brought about by project implementation,” Nankabirwa explained.  

The Minister was launching the expansion of Purongo Primary School in Nwoya District . The Occasion was witnessed by the Chairman of the Karuma Project Presidential Steering Committee Dr. Eng. Badru Kiggundu , Eng. Ziria Tibalwa Waako the CEO of Electricity Regulation Authority (ERA), CEO of UETCL Mr. George Rwabajungu, CEO of Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL) Dr. Eng.Harrison Mutikanga -local leaders led by the LCV Chairman Emmanuel Arachi and area MPs.

Through the  CDAP program  a number of interventions have been lined up to  improve the people’s livelihood . “ Our technical team in consultation with the local community and local leaders have come up with priority interventions, in education, health, electrification, water supply and livelihood improvements to be implemented in the affected districts of Nwoya, Oyam and Kiryandongo over a three year period, requiring up to UGX. 30 Billion,” the Minister said.

The  interventions include the construction of  primary schools at Purongo, Kamdini and Diima for the financial year 2021/2022. The scope of works includes; school buildings, water harvesting infrastructure, staff houses and VIP  Latrines . Construction of 2 classroom blocks of 2 classrooms, with office and store, each including rain harvesting tanks; One 5 stance lined VIP latrine; and 4 staff house units at Purongo primary School. All have provision for electricity wiring and connection to the grid, plus solar power.

Hon. Nankabirwa asked the local contractors who will be hired to be ready to work and deliver the projects assigned to them on time .”We don’t want to experience a situation where the locals are absent from work on flimsy reasons .

Dr. Eng. Harrison Mutikanga the CEO of Uganda Electricity Generation Company limited (UEGCL),  who are overseeing the construction of Karuma HPP told the residents that while implementing the CDAP, local content participation will considered to have local contractors hired for provision of goods and services .

Subject to availability of funds, other CDAP projects to be implemented over the three year period will  include -improvements to selected Health Centres in each of the districts, with OPDs, maternity and general Wards, and staff houses; Water supply, including boreholes for emergency, and extension of piped water supply systems to affected communities. There will also be  electricity grid extension and reticulation, following a needs assessment, to selected growth centres and a Tourism Centre set up at Karuma.

Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa has since  assured  the country that the construction of the 600MW Karuma Hydro Power Plant  will completed and ready for  commissioning mid next year .

She said  that government was committed to have the Karuma HPP up and running mid next year together with the  evacuation transmission lines connecting to Lira Substation, Olwiyo Susbtation , Arua substation and Kawanda Substation.

“The Olwiyo substation has been developed with capacity to accommodate planned developments at Ayago, Oryang and Kiba. The substation is also to be connected to Gulu and Elegu Substation, then to South Sudan. It will serve the West Nile Region, through transmission lines to Pakwach, Arua, Paidha and the rest of the region.”

Milestones  registered by the Energy Ministry ;

The notable milestones include; the increment in the Installed Capacity from 380 MW in 2000 to the current 1,269.1 MW, the Transmission network length growing from 730 km to 3,100.5 km, Access to Clean Energy growing from 10% to 50%, an Off-Peak Tariff for Industrial Consumers of US Cents 5, and Uganda’s  Electricity Regulatory Framework being ranked Number 1 on the continent for Three (3) consecutive times, in the Electricity Regulatory Index of the African Development Bank released in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

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