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Monday,October 22,2018 11:38 AM

Load-shedding hurts Nebbi businesses

By Billy Rwothungeyo

Added 29th December 2016 03:49 PM

Before, all was well, but in the recent few weeks, the power supply has been unreliable.

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Awekonimungu says unstable power supply is affecting business

Before, all was well, but in the recent few weeks, the power supply has been unreliable.

Not so many years back, the irritating sound of generators ruled over the small town of Nebbi district in West Nile as the sub-region was off grid. Many resorted to the expensive generators for power.

Then along came to the West Nile Rural Electrification Company Ltd (WENRECo) in 2003, which won a concession to generate and distribute electricity in West Nile sub-region.

Initially, the company operated a 1.5 megawatts heavy fuel generator which supplied power to Arua, Nebbi and Paidha towns.

This electricity supply though, proved unreliable as sometimes clients would go weeks without power, either due to mechanical issues with the generator, or the lack of fuel to run it.

The residents of Nebbi got renewed hope when the firm opened the 3.5MW Nyagak I hydropower station in Zombo District in September 2012, meant to switch the sub-region to 24hour electricity supply.

Without power at his shop in Nebbi, Bedijo appears to ponder a plan B


Before, all was well, but in the recent few weeks, the power supply has been unreliable.

Denis Awekonimungu, a shop attendant who sales juice, water and other beverages says the unstable power supply is hurting his business.

“Sometimes, the power goes off at 8am, and it is off for the whole day. Since we do not have a generator in this shop, we cannot make juice for our customers,” he complains.

Jimmy Bedijo who repairs phones, and other electrical gadgets, shares the same pain. In fact, when New Vision was at his shop in the town, he turned away two clients as he did not have electricity.

“As you can see, I am losing business. The problem has been around for a couple of weeks now.”

Bedijo says if the situation does not improve quickly, he may be forced to look for an alternative power source like solar.

A source at WENRECo, who spoke to New Vision on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorized to officially speak to the media, confirmed that the region is experiencing load-shedding, due to the low water levels at Nyagak.

“The dam has two turbines, but due to the low levels of water, we are unable to run both at the same time most of the time. The situation will stabilize when the rains return,” he said.

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