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Umeme, Police ambush Kawempe

By Vision Reporter

Added 28th August 2007 03:00 AM

By Ibrahim Kasita

UMEME officials and Police officers raided Nsobya East Zone in Kawempe Division and discovered that almost all the residents were consuming power illegally.

The operation, which was conducted on August 24, found that households and businesses like salons, kiosks and makeshift cinema halls made their own illegal connections to the power lines using cheap and poor quality equipment.

“Most houses here have an illegal connection to the grid. Meter tampering by middle-class households seeking to pay less than they should is rampant,” Aloysius Onyait, the Umeme senior security officer, said.

To connect, residents find the nearest overhead power cable, sling a metal hook over it, then run a wire underground from the hook to the home.

The connections are done using all kinds of wires, resulting into a tangle of wires going in every direction.

The wires run across the road, transmitting power to homes and businesses without considering children and animals.

Most of the residents mainly women boil water using old and inefficient appliances. Also, people use ordinary bulbs instead of the energy-savers.

Onyait said: “Since people do not pay for electricity, they do not manage consumption efficiently. Consequently, electricity consumption is very high.”

He said the illegal connections also cause loadshedding due to short circuits and deaths from electrocution.

Umeme loses about sh3b in power thefts and illegal connections every year resulting into higher tariffs.

Umeme, Police ambush Kawempe

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