More electricity for rural areas
Government is set to connect 5,000 people in seven rural growth centers where there is low access to electricity and connectivity.
However, the project will only be implemented, if parliament approves a loan request by government amounting to US$10m (Sh24b) from the OPEC fund for international development.
According to state minister for energy Simon Du’janga, the project is aimed at expanding access to electricity and connectivity to seven rural towns in the districts of Mukono, Buikwe, Apac, Oyam, Lira, Dokolo and Masindi through the extension of the existing power grid.
“We want to extend electricity to rural areas, but the beneficiaries will have to meet their bills. We hope to start this as soon as we get the loan,” Du’janga said.
He made the remarks while appearing before the parliament’s committee on National economy to seek approval of the loan. Du’janga noted that the seven districts will act as a pilot study before embarking on other parts of the country.
He noted that the projects’ development objective is to contribute to the economic and social development in Uganda by connecting initially around 5000 customers to electricity in selected rural growth centers. “The project will enhance economic activities including agro-industry, resulting in increasing employment and household incomes,” he added.
It will consist of supply of materials and installation of 102 Kilometer (KM) of 33 kilo volts (KV) Medium voltage (MV) lines in Mukono and Buikwe and another 182.9 Km of the same in the districts of Apac, Oyama, Lira Dokolo and Masindi using wooden poles plus distribution of transformers low voltage lines including service connections.
Du’janga told the committee that , seven districts were selected basing on balanced regional development, growth centers having no access to electricity and no connectivity to existing power grid, sufficient clientele to use electricity in the area.
Others are availability of clients for future expansion, availability and accessibility to the existing power grids and key economic activities. Statistics show that rural areas have power supply of only 3% while urban areas 10 %.
The committee however expressed concern about the money saying it was very little for government to take it as a loan from an international body adding that it would be got locally. The New Vision