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Gov't Secures UGX 369 Billion Loan for Power Extension in West Nile

DuJanga says the 3.5WM Nyagak power dam in Zombo district is not producing enough power for the region. He says that the demand for electricity has drastically shot up, amidst the rampant power outages in the region. According to Dujanga, the project funded by World Bank is to ensure that there is reliable power supply in the region.
Energy State Minister Simon Du'janga responding to questions from Journalists after a meeting at Leosim Hotel in Nebbi town.

Audio 2

The government has secured a 369 Billion Shillings loan from the World Bank to improve power supply in the West Nile region.

This was disclosed by the Minister of State for Energy Eng. Simon Du'janga during a consultative meeting at Leosim Hotel in Nebbi town on Wednesday.

Du'Janga says the 3.5WM Nyagak power dam in Zombo district is not producing enough power for the region. He says that the demand for electricity has drastically shot up, amidst the rampant power outages in the region.

According to Du'janga, the project funded by the World Bank is to ensure that there is reliable power supply in the region. 

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D'Ujanga says government has also laid down an 18-month strategy to install a 20-megawatt solar power, resume and expedite construction work at Nyagak III mini hydropower project this year and work is expected to be completed by mid-2021.

Jackson Atima, the chairperson of Uganda National Chamber of Commerce West Nile says a number of businesses have been forced to shut down due to the constant power outages.

“We can't continue losing businesses just because of irregular supply of power. About 10 grinding mills have closed operations, Malaika Water and Bread manufacturers are also finding it very difficult to work due to limited electricity and many other small businesses in the region are expensively operating on generators”, Atima said in an exclusive interview this morning.

The lone electricity distributor in the region, West Nile Rural Electricity Company WENRECo has of late come under criticism by the business community in the region and Members of Parliament for its inefficiency and the failure to offer reliable power supply.

Jeremy Oyirwoth, a metal fabricator along the Nebbi-Pakwach road says the current poor electricity supply does not guarantee any growth in this type of business. He wants the government to find alternative to address the power crisis.

“How can there be competition in this business without power? We need an alternative probably connecting us to the national grid”, he said.

Bernard Atiku, the Chairperson West Nile Parliamentary Caucus says the region has for many years suffered due to lack of power. He says that the government should not dupe people with short terms solutions of providing solar power which cannot propel development in the region.

He says WENRECo has denied West Nile region of the opportunity to grow, adding that industrialization is far from near.

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However, the WENRECo West Nile regional manager, Dido Clement Rumanyika says the demand for electricity in the region has overwhelmed its supply, especially during peak hours, with the region relying only on the 3.5MW power from Nyagak electricity establishment from Zombo district.

In the meantime, he says the company has plans to purchase an extra generator for Kuluva Hospital in Arua district to supplement the existing power supply.