government has so far completed 9,800 electricity connections out of the
110,000 targeted connections for this year, under the Electricity Connection
policy implementation resumed in March after a three-month suspension starting in December 2020. Electricity companies
implementing the connections had already stopped their activities as early as
June 2020 due to lack of cash.
When the Government accumulated arrears of Shillings103billion shillings, the Service Providers
were unwilling to make newer
connections before the Government settling the arrears. Following the acquisition of funds from both the government and development partners, implementation resumed in March.
The then Minister for Energy and Mineral
Development, Mary Goretti Kitutu announced that 110,697 connections were to be
completed by the end of this year. Now,
of the new connections since December, 1,502 connections were completed between
April and June this year, an average of 500 per month.
brings the total connections under the policy, to 299,843 as of the end of June 2021.
is also still far below the target that was set when the policy commenced in
target of the policy is 300,000 connections per year and is supposed to take
up electricity connections to the national grid to 60% by 2027 when it ends, up
from the current 30%, according to the ministry. The
ministry hopes that connectivity rates will continue as the activities pick up
and as more resources are got by the government, so as to meet the target.
Minister Ruth Nankabirwa says that before embarking on new applications, they
are bent on clearing the backlog of about 300,000 connections, which
resulted from the suspension of the policy.
in: “Many people have…..
out: ….Ugandan shillings.”//
cash shortage was attributed to the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country, which saw resources diverted from many sectors to fight the
this also came when the Rural Electrification Agency, which implements the policy was riddled by allegations of corruption and abuse of office leading to the interdiction of top managers.
after the suspension of the policy, households continued applying for free
connections, hoping for a normal situation soon. “Requests
for new consumer connections continued accumulating and by 7th December 2020, there was a backlog of
200,500 applications for new
electricity connections. The policy resumed with a dual connection system where customers with the ability to pay for
their connections can pay in three days without waiting
as Government mobilizes
additional resources for the ECP to
clear the backlog,” said Minister
companies carrying out the connections say they will first connect handle the
backlog on a first come-first- served basis.
Mr Stephen Ilungole, the Umeme media relations
manager, said yesterday the programme is another opportunity to serve customers
on top of serving those willing to fund their connection costs.
"There were slightly over 250,000
customers who have applied for free connections and had waited more than five
months. The 87,500 under out docket will be selected from these customers on a first-come-first-serve basis," said Steven Illungole, the media relations manager
Nankabirwa says even the ongoing connections are following the order starting
with the oldest completed applications, as procurement for more materials
“Procurement of 234,989 no-pole
connection materials utilizing
funds from the Exim Bank of China Access project (under TBEA contract)
is also ongoing and these materials are expected in August 2021. This is therefore to confirm Government commitment to increase access to
clean energy in line with the
NDP-III,” she says
She however implores those that have the ability to foot the full cost of connection to go ahead, so as to help reduce the backlog and
avoid delaying the commencement of their businesses. She adds that business operators who wait for the free
connection should better use private resources especially if they have already spent
money on their investments instead of maintaining idle investments.
Meanwhile, the government is piloting a cheap power supply for institutions that use biofuels, as a way of increasing power consumption, which would in the end see it able to lower the cost of electricity to at least 453 Shillings per unit.
The Electricity Regulatory Authority-ERA Executive Director, Ziria Tibalwa Waako, says that they have started with the Mwana-mugimu clinic at Mulago with the aim of convincing institutions to abandon the use of charcoal and firewood.