The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa has
queried a decision by the government to import electricity from Kenya (60 Megawatts) after the shutdown Isimba hydropower plant.
Tayebwa made the statement
during the Wednesday plenary sitting in which he queried the rushed decision
despite reports that Uganda has surplus electricity.
“The flooding at Isimba has caused panic and UMEME
has released a load-shedding schedule," said Tayebwa. "But we were told that we have an
installed capacity of 1378.1Meggawatts and we consume much less of that. Isimba
is a dam of only 183 Megawatts and we don’t even consume 1,000 Megawatts as a
country. I have seen that we are already rushing to Kenya to import 60
He directed that the Minister of Energy and Mineral
Development appears before Parliament on Thursday with a statement that is to
be debated by parliament regarding the issue. Tayebwa also tasked the committee
on Natural Resources to assess the quality of work at Isimba Dam and other dams
and report to parliament.
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On Monday last
week, the 183 Megawatts Isimba Dam flooded and it was temporarily shut down
leading to load-shedding in different parts of the country that is to go on for
three weeks, according to the Ministry of Energy.
The flooding of Isimba Dam is reported to have nearly
submerged the powerhouse in which the turbines, generators and other
installations for electricity generation are.
Uganda has different
power generation plants and these have the capacity to produce about 1,346
megawatts, according to the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), as of
Nambeshe, the Chief Opposition Whip said that the shutdown of Isimba Dam has
already plugged the country into an energy crisis and some areas are already
experiencing intermittent power supply.
He said that the
flooding of the dam raises questions about the quality of work that was done
and called for an investigation. Nambeshe also wondered why the country would
experience load-shedding despite the surplus electricity.
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Kivumbi, the Butambala County MP said that Uganda has been paying a lot of
money for deemed energy and questioned why this cannot solve the current
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Solomon Silwany, the Bukooli
Central MP also reported that the load-shedding that was occasioned by Isimba
Dam shutdown affected health facilities. He indicated that the Mulago National
Referral Hospital was not spared, something that puts lives of many patients at
risk especially those in the Intensive Care Units (ICUs).
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The Deputy Speaker ruled
that any MP with concerns about the issue would be given time on Thursday to
respond to the Minister’s statement.