Ministry of Energy Experts Ask Gov’t to Enforce Geographic Information System to Improve Service Delivery  

By Dominic Ochola

Data experts have asked the government to empower all its Ministries, Departments and Agencies to embrace Geographic Information System – GIS to improve planning and service delivery to the population.

GIS is a computer-based tool for collecting, storing, updating, controlling, analyzing and displaying information about the earth. It relates to land information; environment and natural resources management, planning and engineering among others.

The experts who included specialists, planners, monitoring and evaluation officers, decision makers and technology providers made the call during the 9th utilities GIS conference held at Kabira Country Club in Kampala.

Under the theme, ‘Location Intelligence Powering Sustainable Energy’ the experts from the Civil Society Organizations – CSOs and some energy sector players have been discussing best practices for spatial data collection, data analysis, map presentation and system integration.

David Otieno, the Head of GIZ energy and climate initiatives in Uganda says the Government needs to invest in the integration of reliable data to inform its intervention decisions aimed at improving the desired services to the population.

 Flavia Zabali Musisi, GIS Analyst and Planner with Kampala Capital City Authority – KCCA noted that GIS has been able to aid them in enhancing revenue. For instance, she cited the FY 2010/2011 when KCCA collected about 7.72 billion in property rates but the amount increased by 43.5 percent in the FY 2021/2022 due to the use of GIS.

Sidronius Okaasai Opolot, the State Minister for Energy and Mineral Development observed that GIS has been an integral part of planning, monitoring and managing assets in the energy sector, and other utility sectors of Uganda in line with Uganda’s National Development Plan (NDP III).

In his key note address read by Dr Brian Isabirye, the Commissioner-Renewable Energy, Okaasai pointed out that GIS has been a vital tool for various actors in the Energy sector including utility companies, private sector actors, as well as some government agencies.

Dr. Patricia Litho Head Communications at the Ministry of Energy

 Through the GIS, the Ministry of Energy was able  to map out areas for service delivery and connected 351,000 households to the national gridin the last five years; 936 educational facilities, 13,000 commercial connections and 425 health centers under the electricity connection policy. About 1.3 million on-grid and off-grid connections are expected by the end of the year under the electricity access scale up project.

In 2011, the Government through the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development formed the Energy Sector GIS Working Group to address the challenge of data intelligence to promote the use and development of GIS as a management decision support tool within the energy sector.

Uganda and the other East African countries have been using GIS to tap into the potential of the massive renewable energy resources their countries are blessed with, and to monitor the vast infrastructure utilized to deliver that energy to its people.

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