Solar Power Mini Grid Project Worth UGX18 Billion Launched in Lamwo

The hybrid solar mini grids are designed in such a way that electricity is generated from renewable solar power and connected to the remote grid that subsequently provides electricity to several customers in the given rural and urban location.
Minister of state for Northern Uganda Grace Kweyocwiny adresses the public during the solar mini grid launch in Lamwo Photo By Dan M Komakech

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Twenty five hybrid solar powered mini-grid projects worth over shillings 18 billion have officially been launched in Lamwo district. 

The solar powered mini grid projects being implemented by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral development, Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) and GIZ with funding from the European Union and the German Federal Government was launched on Tuesday in Paloga Sub County in Lamwo district. 

The hybrid solar powered mini grids are designed in a way that electricity is generated from renewable solar power and connected to the remote grid that subsequently provides electricity to several customers in the given rural and urban location.

The project Director at the Ministry of Energy Engineer Cecilia Manya says the project is part of the government's initiative that is developing 40 mini grids countrywide with 25 already installed in Lamwo and 15 in the districts of Isingiro and Rakai, being operated by the private sector. 

According to Menya, the Lamwo mini-grid project has successfully connected 20,000 households, 120 Small and Medium Enterprises and over ten social institutions that have been supplied with non-stop electricity, day and night. 

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The benefitting villages include, Tumanum B, Apwoyo Trading Centre, Oboko Trading Centre, Loromibenge A and B, and Ywaya in Agoro Sub County; Paloga Central and Lapidiyenyi in Paloga Sub County. 

Others are Potika trading Centre, Pany Buk East and West, Moroto in Potika Sub County, Labayango and Corner Dec in Padibe Aceba Sub County; Opoki in Padibe West Sub County; Ngomoromo, Pangira, Licwar Central in Lokung Sub County. Lelapwot West, Aweno Olwi, Lokung Logwak in Lokung East Sub County, Paluda, Ogili Trading Centre, Apyetta Trading Centre, Apyetta West in Palabek Ogili Sub County; Kapeta, Ayuu Alali in Palabek Kal Sub County; Otaa and Muddu Central in Nyimur Sub County and Pawena Trading Centre in Palabek Gem Sub County.   

The Lamwo district LCV Chairperson Sisto Ocen Oyet commended the government for the initiative saying the project will improve the living conditions of the populace through spurred small scale businesses and economic growth in all the benefitting villages. 

Oyet stressed that Lamwo being one of the leading agricultural producers in the region, the solar electrification will help boost the sector through value addition, powering irrigation systems and water pumps, reduction of droughts and improve food production.

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The European Union Ambassador Atillio Pacifici says the projects is part of their commitment in the recent COP26 conference in Glasgow towards eliminating and combating climate change challenges, global warming of the planet and its negative impacts.

Paciffici says renewable energy technologies are cost effective compared with the grid extension in addressing both the energy demand of the underserved people across the country and combating environmental degradation.

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The German Ambassador Mathias Schauer says electricity is fundamental in the development of the country and anticipates that the people of Lamwo will experience an increase in wellbeing and employment opportunities due to a spur in the local economic activity and a growth of small scale businesses.  

The state minister for Northern Uganda Grace Freedom Kweyocwiny says the overall objective is stability consolidation of Northern Uganda, poverty and under-nutrition eradication and strengthening the foundations for sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development. 

Kweyocwiny however reminded the beneficiaries to ensure owning and maintaining the solar mini grid project and devising long-term sustainability plans towards government’s interest of achieving a middle income status.

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The state minister for Energy Sidronius Okaasai Opolot says the project is in line with the government's vision, which aims to provide universal access to clean electric energy for the Ugandan population by 2040.

Opolot however stressed that the beneficiaries should desist from engaging in tendencies of vandalism and theft of the electric installation since it compromises the objectives of the project.