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Power Lines Remain mere "Decorations" in Bukedea 2 Years after Installation

Joseph Okiria, the Vice Chairperson of Apopong Village says they are not updated about the new developments in the power line. Okiria says that there is pressure mounted by community on local leaders about power but they don’t have the answers.
Electricity pole erected infront of the grassthatched house in Apopong village, Bukedea district.

Audio 4

Electricity power lines passing through Malera, Kabarwa and Kangole sub-counties in Bukedea district have remained without any electricity flowing through them for more than two years. 

This has raised concern from the members of the community and the leadership of Bukedea district including the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among.

Among, who doubles as the Bukedea woman MP is quoted on social media thus: “I really lobbied for power, I am about to start begging. And I am begging; please connect power in my village and other areas that have requested because we have money for it.”

In 2019, Rural Electrification Agency started erecting power lines in different parts of Bukedea district but the lines have not yet been connected to date.  The power connection to Bukedea villages was expected to light up homes, trading centres and institutions like schools and health facilities in order to boost businesses in the rural area.

But John Isiagi, a resident of Kachonga Village in Malera Sub County says that his compound has only been decorated by poles and wires without power. He says that they have been getting promises from the government to have the line connected in vain.

According to Isiagi, the computers donated to Kachonga Primary School after receiving news of power lines are now idle because of power. He told our reporter that even after paying for poles and connections, they have not been given power.

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Joseph Okiria, the Vice-Chairperson of Apopong Village says they are not updated about the new developments in the power line. Okiria says that there is pressure mounted by community on local leaders about power but they don’t have the answers.

“When we inquired about the power, they brought transformers which have also taken more than a year idle. They asked people to apply but have not even connected power to the few households that have paid for power”, he said.

Okiria says that some people have taken advantage of people’s despair for power to solicit money and cheat on the community.

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Michael Okwii, the Secretary for Works in Bukedea District acknowledges receiving complaints from some members of the community over extortion. He says that they are following the matter with relevant authorities.

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Dr. Patricia Kevin Litho, the Head of Communication and Information Management at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development says the line is supposed to be powered by the service provider but they had issues with funding.

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Jonathan Adengo, the Umeme Communications Officer says the line has not yet been commissioned for Umeme to commence power distribution.