13 October 2017

Uganda: Govt to Borrow U.S.$287 Million for Rural Electrification

Kampala, Uganda — Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development plan to Borrow USD$ 287 Million to finance Rural Electrification projects in the country.

According to the Minister of state in charge of Finance David Bahati the funds will be borrowed from the Exim Bank of China and it tends to finance rural electrification projects in 287 sub counties across the country which are not yet connected to the National grid.

The Minister observed that although there's has been improvement in distributing of clean energy in remote areas, the government is still challenged with distribution of power to other parts of the country especially in the Karamoja, West Nile and other parts of the country especially in the islands.

"As Government we are in final discussion with the bank to ensure that the funds are secured to finance rural electrification program in the country" Bahati said recently at Uganda Bureau of statistics where he was launching the Uganda National House hold Survey.

The Minister noted that the Government through Rural Electrification program they have managed to extend power to most parts of the country thus improving the people's lives of living.Bahati disclosed that currently the number of Ugandan accessing electricity has gone up from the previous 19% to about 24 %.

He noted Government has initiated many Economic improving programs such as Operation Wealth Creation under the National Agricultural Advisory Services which has led to the improvement in Agricultural production but many farmers are not adding value due to their places not being connected on the national Grid.

"When all the major town are connected on the national grid the country wil;l register more social and Economic transformation especially when it comes to adding value to agricultural produces not only that but power availability also stimulates the development of small and Medium enterprises in the location that is why government is going for the loan from China" The Minister explained .

According to the UBOS report Karamoja and WestNile regions are lagging behind as far as access to clean energy the data reveals that in Karamoja power connection stands at 0.6% and for west Nile stands at 3.3% This means that majority depends on biofuel which has led to the depletion of forest covers in the region thus leading to global warming.

In the report it was discovered that majority of the local in areas that are not on the national grid they depend on Paraffin as major source of Energy for Lighting but According to Health Experts Using paraffin as source of Energy for Lighting as Health Impacts especially to children.

UBOS Executive Director Paul Mungyereza said Electricity remains critical for Uganda to attain the growth trajectory and socio-economic transformation of its fast-growing population.

As way of promoting the usage of clean energy in the country Government came up with power connectivity projections which it must full fill by the end of 2030 for instance government strategy is to see that by 2022 the power coverage must be at 26% then 51% in2013 and 100 by the year 2040.

To ensure that such projections are achieved government has increased on the budget for the energy sector to ensure that major power plants are constrcted to supply the country with enough power. Power projects in the pipe line include Isimba dam and Karuma dam of which once the towo commences generating power, power distribution agencies will be in capacity to extend power to all corners in the country.


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