The report presented by the outgoing Kitgum District Chairperson Jackson Omona shows a total of 13,188 households were by the end of last year using off-grid solar products for lighting and other uses. It equally showed an increment of solar usage in the district by more than ten times from the 2,041 households surveyed in 2016 that were found to be using solar energy in rural and urban areas.
The Utilization of solar products
for domestic and commercial purposes by households in Kitgum
District has increased, according to the District Local Government achievement report for the last five years.
The report presented by the outgoing Kitgum District Chairperson Jackson Omona shows a total of 13,188
households were by the end of last year using off-grid solar products for
lighting and other uses. It equally showed an increment of solar
usage in the district by more than ten times from the 2,041 households surveyed
in 2016 that were found to be using solar energy in rural and urban areas.
David Wany Oyok, the Kitgum District
Senior Environment Officer told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that the
increased solar energy usage in the district is influenced by the inconsistent
electricity supply by power distributor UMEME and high power tariffs.
//cue in; “To some extent…
Cue out…people have
He notes that the current shift
to use solar energy products among the community members is a blessing to
the natural resources which had been under attack. According to Oyok, the use of
solar for lighting instead of local lamps has greatly helped to curb down fire outbreaks in homes and lung infections arising from inhalation of fumes from lamps.
//cue in: “The use of…
Cue out:…to get spoilt.”//
Within Kitgum Municipality, there
has been a boom in sales of solar products by several dealers spread across the
three divisions of Pager, Central, and Pandwong.
Sam Samo, a businessman who deals
in electronics and solar panels in Central Division says there has been increasing in the numbers of clients buying and making inquiries on his solar
products. According to Samo, at least eight
people on a daily basis buy solar panels, batteries, and solar-powered products
like torches, radios among others from his shop. He says the consistent power outage
in the district has further boosted the sales of solar panels.
Luo//Cue in; “solar gire pud…
Cue out...tino me gang.”//
Several businessmen within the
Municipality have also picked up the use of solar to supplement the electricity
they are connected to. Robert Sunday Opiyo, a Barbershop
owner in Central Division is among the people who have been using solar energy
to run his business for the last two years, and explains that prolonged power outages
forced him to purchase a 150 Watts solar panel, a battery, and a power inverter which
has since boosted his business.
He adds that his power bill has also reduced significantly from 100,000 Shillings monthly
to 50,000 Shillings, and sometimes even less.
Luo//Cue in; “ber pa solar…
Cue out…tic weng tine.”//
Kitgum, like any other district
in the country still presents a fertile ground for alternative energy sources
owing to the limited numbers of people with access to electricity.
Although the total number of
electricity consumers in 2018 increased by 14.6 per cent from 1,372,166
consumers to 1,572,605 consumers in 2019 according to the Uganda Bureau of
Statistics-UBOS 2020 statistical abstract, 28 per cent of the population still
have no access to electricity.