By Ayiga Ondoga
THE West Nile power grid extension from Nyagak Hydro plant to the rest of the districts is moving steadily with over 46% of the work on the about sh44 billion (€12million) project already covered, according to the project consultant.
The site manager, West Nile Grid Extension, Ken Mulwanda said construction works were in progress on the 78km MV line from Nyagak to Arua via Vurra with poles already erected and dressed on the 50km stretch.
“On the 56MV line Arua-Koboko-Oraba to Yumbe, construction works of pole erection and dressing stands at 24km while construction on the 50MV line from Nebbi to Pakwach is at 15km of pole erection and dressing,” Mulwanda explained.
The 20 months project on over 185km has so far covered over 90km in 9months in the districts of Nebbi, Zombo, Arua, Maracha, Koboko and Yumbe, noted Mulwanda.
Mulwanda was briefing state minister for energy, Eng. Simon D’Ujanga and officials from the Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL) during a fact finding tour of the project.
Mulwanda revealed the deliveries of construction materials both imported and local like poles is moving smoothly with poles by UEDCL from Nile Ply and over 30 transformers out of the 150 needed for the project and electric conducts from Sri-Lanka already on site.
D’Ujanga expressed happiness with the progress of the extension project, saying by at least December, 2014, many people should have been connected on the main grid to boost development in theWest Nile region.
“We shall serve all the trading centres and towns in the region with power so that their lives can change for better and development is achieved. With several sub-contractors, the work is progressing very fast and WENRECO (West Nile Rural Electricity Company) will start distribution process,” D’Ujanga stressed.
D’Ujanga observed all the 11KV power network in the region including Arua sub-station will be replaced with 33KV network in order to provided sufficient power to consumers for both domestic and industrial works.
The minister lamented the delayed works of stringing the Nyagak-Vurra-Arua MV line which is affecting the connection of customers in the area.
D’Ujanga pointed out, “We started late with the project but I’m happy with the progress so far. Let’s continue steadily so that we can finish within the stipulated time frame because this is donor money and accountability is needed as signed in the contract agreement.”
“The construction works of the two sub-stations at Nyagak and Arua has reached steel reinforcement bars for the roof slabs and works on LV (400V) line on Warr and Logiri to Nyagak and Nebbi-Pakwach is in progress,” Mulwanda asserted.
Some of the officials from UEDCL, who accompanied the minister were Eng. Lauren Bamanya, project manager, Protaze Tibyakinura, manager Pole Plant and Stores, Franklin Kizito Oidu, manager technical service and officials from LTL Project (PvT) Ltd, the contractors of the grid extension, K.A Weeraratne, project manager and Fazal Arshed, project engineer among others.
What others say about the project
Richard Asiandu, deputy DISO, Koboko
The project has brought happiness to the local people, saying the government is finally fulfilling its promise to the people in the region. We are too excited because people were hungry for power.
William Kumakech, RDC Maracha
The power project will foster development in the region because many people are now constructing commercial buildings along the roads where the power lines are passing. So, that is a good boost for development in West Nile.
John Ulenga, businessman/farmer in Zombo
The power will lead to establishment of medium size factories to add value to their products before they are taken to the markets. It will also bring in small scale cottage industries like metal fabrication which will reduce on cost of transportation from Kampala which was affecting business.
William Adrogu, resident of Guna Hill village in Zombo
The whole project will create jobs for the youths and also improve the living standards of people because they will have access to power for both domestic and commercial activities.