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Persistent Power Outage Leaves Agago Traders Counting Loses

For a month now, electricity supply hasn’t been stable in the district affecting normal operation of several businesses.

Audio 2

Residents of Agago District are protesting the persistent power outage in the area.

For a month now, electricity supply hasn’t been stable in the district affecting normal operation of several businesses.  

Electricity in the district is distributed by Pader-Abim Community Multi-Purpose Electricity Cooperative Society (PACMECS) under the Rural Electrification project.    

Joseph Okello, the proprietor of God’s Will Computer Center in Patongo Town Council says the area sometimes goes without electricity for three days even when it’s not raining.    

He says whenever there is a power outage, he spends 30,000 Shillings daily on fuel to run a generator to keep his business operational.    

Okello says this has greatly affected his profit margin since many customers shy away from his services because of the high prices he charges while running a generator.  

He says if the power outage persists, he may be forced out of business because of the high cost in running.  

Vento Acayo, an employee at Fair Bet also in Patongo Town Council says the company is incurring huge expenses in running generators for the past one month due to the persistent power outage in the district.  

She says at one point, the company’s appliances which include Television set and a computer were damaged when power was restored with a high voltage power forcing them to spend a day off.

According to Acayo, amidst the problems they are facing, officials from PACMECS haven’t issued any statement to the affected residents on why power is frequently off.    

Luo

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Andrew Tookema who runs KK photo studio says he hasn’t been working for the past two weeks because of high cost of running generator.  

Tookema says it would be better for government to allocate maintenance of power in the district to a different company adding that for long they have been affected.

Lillian Atek, the PACMECS General Manager blamed the persistent power outage on the current heavy rains and rotten electricity poles that are being changed.  

She says some times it is UMEME to blame arguing that sometimes they drop PACMES fuses in corner Kilak without notifying them in case they are experiencing challenges on the 33KV Feeder on Lira-Kitgum line.

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She, however, didn’t give any specific date when electricity supply will normalize in the district since the technicians are on the ground replacing some fallen and rotten electricity poles.  

PACMECS also serves other districts such as Pader, Lamwo, Kitgum, Abim and parts of Omoro and Gulu.    

Under electricity project funded by the African Development Bank, the European Union and German State development bank; KfW, locals pay subsidized rates for electricity.