By Ayiga Ondoga
THE Government has started the extension of power from Nyagak Hydro-Power station in Zombo district to other districts in West Nile region.
The extension which is intended to boost industrial development is funded by a grant worth over sh44.2b (13 million Euros) from the German government.
State minister for energy, Eng. Simon D’Ujanga said the initial extension programme which is to take 18 months will cover Zombo, Nebbi, Arua, Maracha, Koboko and Yumbe districts.
“The implementation of the power lines extension is undertaken by three contractors. One contractor is planting the poles from Nebbi, Paidha, Nyapea, Zombo, Warr, Alangi, Logiri to Vurra in Arua district while the second contractor is planting the power poles from Nebbi, Nyaravur, Angal, Parombo, Panyimur to Pakwach town,” he said.
The last contractor is implementing the power line extension from Arua town, Maracha, Koboko, Oraba to Yumbe.
“By the time the power was switched on, the demand was only 2MW but the demand has now increased tremendously,” D’Ujanga noted.
He said this has made the Government consider the construction of a third power station, Nyagak 3 a few kilometers from Nyagak 1.
“The construction of the 4.5 mega-watt Nyagak 3 power station has already started with the construction of access roads to the site in Zombo district. The over $15m project will begin early next year because the money for construction is already there,” D’Ujanga said.
“With the construction of Nyagak 3, the connection of the region to the main grid at Olwiiyo and later the construction of Olewa power station will create constant power supply in the region. This will boost the numerous small scale cottage industries such as furniture making and metal fabrication to fight poverty.”
“The 18-month project to connect the districts mentioned to power supply will soon be launched by President Yoweri Museveni in Arua. My appeal to the people of West Nile is to wire their houses properly in readiness for electricity,” D’Ujanga said.
The minister appealed to the people whose land will be affected by the erecting of the electricity poles to cooperate with the contractors to allow the smooth implementation of the power line extension because the government will compensate them.
“The local leaders should mobilise and sensitise their people about the importance of the project by offering their plots for the erecting of the poles which will benefit them because government will compensate for the affected crops and trees in their gardens.