The concern was raised by members of the Natural Resources Committee of Parliament who are currently visiting parts of western Uganda, to study the extent of power penetration in the areas of Masaka, Mbarara, Kasese and Fort Portal, among others. They are bothered that some projects which were launched in 2014 have not yet started.
Members of Parliament have expressed concern over the delays
registered in the execution of electricity projects across the country.
They argue that procurement delays, change of contractors, and
compensation issues are frustrating electrification programmes and
keeping a sizeable population in darkness.
concern was raised by members of the Natural Resources Committee of
Parliament who are currently visiting parts of western Uganda, to study
the extent of power penetration
in the areas of Masaka, Mbarara, Kasese and Fort Portal, among others.
They are bothered that some projects which were launched in 2014 have
not yet started.
Some of the projects that have delayed include the Mirama
substation in Ntungamo district, the Bujagali-Tororo line which is the interconnector with Kenya, the line from Karuma
to Kawanda, Karuma- Olwiyo, Karuma- Lira, and the Tororo-Opuyo-Lira
transmission line, among others.
Bujagali-Tororo line whose
construction started in 2015 was expected to be complete in 2018, but
has been delayed due to issues around the right of way. Meanwhile, the
construction of the Bujagali,
Tororo, Mbarara and Mirama substation suffered a setback after the
suspension of a contract awarded to Isolux Ingenieria SA
This was mainly because of the poor performance by the
contractor evidenced by poor
supervision, site abandonment, cashflow
challenges and insolvency among others. Four new contractors have so far been
signed to complete the pending works.
Committee chairperson Keefa Kiwanuka
said the pace has
been slow for most of the electricity projects including substations and
lines. Kiwanuka says that the delay means that the country will
continue using old systems some of which are faulty and worn out.
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Transmission Project Monitoring and Evaluation Officer Stephen Kyeganwa
Mukasa says now there are ten
transmission projects in the country being worked on, six of which have
commenced. They include Lira from Tororo, Karuma Interconnection
project, West Nile connection to the main grid, while several others
like the Masaka-Mbarara Project, regional
interconnectors like to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to South
Sudan and to
Tanzania are yet to start.
He says that several challenges came along especially for
the Mirama substation and this is expected to be worked on at least in the
next three months. Mukasa cites issues such as COVID-19 as the main cause for
delay now as they cannot import some hardware, while the international movement
control and lockdown due to COVID-19 is another issue.
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