28 January 2013

Uganda: Nation Gets U.S.$19 Million for Power

Photo: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS
The government has promised power shortage will be a thing of the past.

Kampala — The ministry of Energy through Uganda Energy Credit Capitalization Company (UECCC) has received a grant of up to Euro 13.1 million($19m) from Netherlands based Orio Infrastructure to finance small power projects.

According to Uganda's state minister for Energy Simon Du'Janga such projects will enable Uganda overcome the problem of power shortage.

He said that although the government has tried to connect most urban areas on the national grid, most parts have not yet accessed power and, it hinders economic development.

He was speaking at the launch of the power project named the Orio mini Hydro Power and Rural Electrification in Kampala recently.

"We are endowered with great number of rivers that can support power production but we have been focusing more on big projects that have not helped. The small projects shall do great change," said Du'Janga.

Under the plan, a cluster of 10 small hydropower plants with capacities to produce 1-1.5 MW will be installed alongside a transmission and distribution system.

This will increase the percentage of Uganda's rural population connected to the grid from less than 6% to 7.5%.

Mr. Roy Nyamutale Baguma the Manager Transaction Executive at UECCCC told East African Business Week that the project is aimed at solving the problem of poor access to power.

"This project if completed will see Ugandans totaling to 347,000 individuals getting connected to the national grid.

"We hope to connect at least 8000 Small and Medium Enterprises. This will create more jobs for localUgandans," said Baguma.

Uganda is one of the countries in Africa where majority of its people depend on fire wood as source of Energy. This has led the country to lose about 34.4 million tones of wood worth Ush 258.4 billion ($130 million).

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