By Vision Reporter
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has commissioned the 3.5MW Nyagak hydropower station in Paidha, Zombo District. The occasion officially marks the onset of 24hour electricity supply to West Nile sub-region.
Developed by the West Nile Rural Electrification Company Ltd. (WENRECo) with the financial support from the World Bank and the German Government through its development bank, KfW, the Nyagak hydropower plant will be the principal source of power generation, substantially replacing thermal generation.
WENRECo, a subsidiary of Industrial Promotion Services (IPS), was awarded a 20 year licence to generate and provide electricity in the West Nile region in April 2003.
IPS is the infrastructure and industrial development arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).
Mahmood Ahmed, the AKDN Resident Representative in Uganda observed, “This is the result of close collaboration of development partners to overcome the challenges of providing clean, reliable and affordable electricity to rural populations and look forward to more rural electrification.”
WENRECo will therefore now, and in the immediate future, focus on increasing and extending access while improving the reliability of the grid.
“We expect that increased access to electricity will not only accelerate the economic growth of the West Nile region, but will also improve the quality of life for the people in the region by providing light for students to study by; refrigeration for vaccinations, access to clean water and new prospects for businesses and job creation,” said Nizar Juma, the Chairman of IPS.
Duve, Director of KfW Development Bank, explained: “KfW will continue to promote the West Nile Energy Sector with funding from Germany and the EU. We will support the Government of Uganda in extending distribution to Maracha, Koboko, Oraba, Pakwach, Yumbe and beyond. We will enable WENRECo to connect up to 6000 households with prepaid metres. In addition, KfW on behalf of the German Government is supporting the Government of Uganda in developing a second hydro power plant on the Nyagak river (Nyagak III, 4.4 MW) to ensure that West Nile’s increasing demand for electricity will be supplied by reliable, clean energy.”
Observing that the German Government has committed overall funding of around US$40m for the West Nile energy sector, the Charge d’Affaires of the German Embassy in Uganda, Joachim Düster, further commented:
“Today, we can all be proud that thanks to the joint efforts by the Government of Uganda, the Government of Germany through KfW, and the Aga Khan Development Network through IPS and WENRECO, the people and businesses along the transmission lines in West Nile have electricity”.
The West Nile Rural Electrification project was the first African project to qualify for carbon financing under the World Bank’s Prototype Carbon Fund.