MPs Voice Frustration Over Delayed Electricity Connections Despite Existing Infrastructure

In a recent session of Parliament, frustration was intense among Members of Parliament as they expressed their disappointment over the ongoing delays in electricity connections, despite having the necessary infrastructure in their respective constituencies.

The issue was raised during a plenary session chaired by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa, on Tuesday following a statement presented by the Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa, on the status of the electricity and power sub-sector in the country.

According to Minister Nankabirwa, the power generation capacity has increased significantly, reaching 1778.1 MW due to the technical commissioning of four units at the Karuma Hydropower Project. She also highlighted plans to update feasibility studies for additional projects such as Ayago (840MW), Oriang (392MW), and Kiba (400MW) to meet the increasing demand for electricity. Additionally, she noted the progress in electricity transmission, distribution, access, and sub-county connections, with only 433 sub-counties remaining unconnected.

However, MPs raised concerns about the existence of electricity lines without connections despite the presence of poles, lines, and transformers. Hon. Nathan Twesigye from Kashari South County questioned the ministry’s delay in connecting these lines.

Hon. Jane Avur, the District Woman Representative for Pakwach, emphasized the need to prioritize transmission and distribution, especially in rural areas, to support government programs like the Parish Development Model.

MP for Dokolo South County, Hon. Felix Okot Ogong, decried the long-standing issue of nonfunctional lines, some of which have remained inactive for up to five years, leading to the deterioration of wooden poles. He also highlighted the adverse economic impact, with high electricity costs forcing businesses to shut down, affecting the livelihoods of many.

Furthermore, members pointed out that the lack of electricity in rural schools hindered the use of computers distributed by the education ministry for research and learning, adversely affecting students’ performance.

In response, Minister Nankabirwa committed to addressing the raised concerns and assured the MPs that districts without electricity would be connected as per government policy. She urged members to inform the ministry about dormant electricity lines existing for more than two years to facilitate planning and curb vandalism. The situation remains under scrutiny as the government seeks solutions to expedite electricity connections and support the economic and educational needs of the affected communities.

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