By Osman Draga
Plans are underway to connect the West Nile region to the national power grid as a long-term solution to lack of electricity in the area.
This was disclosed by investment state minister Dr. Gabriel Aridru ahead of the commissioning of the long awaited 3.5MW Nyagak power dam in Zombo district scheduled for tomorrow.
“The Minister of Energy has started a feasibility study and the tendering process on connecting the region to the national grid,” he said.
Aridru said when Nyagak dam starts generating power, it will not be enough as demand will go up because Panyimur, Vurra, Maracha, Koboko and Yumbe will all need to be connected.
He blasted some government officials, who he said, talk out of ignorance to sabotage the Nyagak power project.
He said such people should keep quiet if they do not understand the dynamics of electricity.
Aridru said people of West Nile should learn to appreciate because the Government has already shown signs of commitment to have a long-lasting solution to power shortage in the region.
On irregular power supply by Nyagak to Arua, Aridru attributed it to the old transformer systems by the defunct Uganda Electricity Board.
He said the engineers were working to rectify the problem. Nyagak mini-hydro power project was supposed to have been switched on five years ago, but delayed after Skoda Export and Sobetra did shoddy work that forced the Government to terminate their contracts.
The contract was later awarded to Spencon International and VS Hydro, but they also delayed until the German development arm, KFW, gave more funds that has finally seen the successful completion of the project.