The Speaker of Parliament Anita Among has joined other lawmakers to demand that the Ministry of Energy urgently intervenes in the recurring countrywide outages which is affecting industries and businesses.
The Soroti East Division Member of Parliament, Herbert Ariko, speaking on an issue of national importance noted that the UMEME, has failed to supply power in Eastern Uganda which is affecting business operations and manufacturers .
“UMEME does not replace transformers and does not service power lines, there is no infrastructure. I wonder how Ugandans will survive by way of busineness and productivity,” said Ariko.
One the same issue, Medard Sseggona (NUP, Busiro County East) tasked the State Minister for Energy to explain why seven years after a recommendation was by parliament to terminate the concession between government and UMEME has not been effected.
“Even the areas where they are supplying electricity, people can no longer afford electricity. Businesses are closing down,” saSseggona stated .
Basil Bataringaya (NRM, Kashari North County) said that he raised a matter on vandalism of transformers in his constituency in 2021, but to-date, the challenge has not been resolved .
“Give us a response through action. It is not only in Soroti where the problem is, even here in Parliament, I can tell you now we are using a generator. We get load shedding three times a day,” Speaker Among demanded .
While responding to the MPs concerns , Minister of State for Energy, Sidronus Okaasai, blamed the shortages countrywide on vandalism of transformers.
“There was vandalism that happened in the line that supplies power in Eastern and North Eastern region. Four pylons were brought down, we are putting up those pylons temporarily to enable power supply,” said Okaasai.
He added that as an interim measure, government was forced to connect power from Karuma but the wooden line between Lira and Soroti could not accommodate the power that is stable enough to enable manufacturing in Eastern and North Eastern.
“Karuma only takes 75 megawatts and has to be shared in the whole region and it is not adequate to run all industries in Northern Uganda and that has brought about rationing of electricity,” said Okaasai.
e said that Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL) is working on interconnectors to improve power flow and increase power transmitted from Karuma.
“Karuma is now producing 300 megawatts and if the line is improved, that would enable us to have a double circuit to provide power from both Eastern and also from Karuma to Eastern and North Eastern,” said Okaasai.
In regard to termination of UMEME’s concessional agreement before its expiry in 2025, he said Cabinet resolved not to terminate it because it would be costly.
“We have slowed UMEME down on investing their money. We only allow them to do activities where we have money,” Okaasai said.
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