EDITOR: It is with dismay that I learnt load-shedding, which I thought we had left behind in 2006, has reared its ugly head again! How long this state of erratic power supply shall continue is still unclear!
On my way home on Tuesday, I received an SMS from UMEME: "Dear Customer, we regret to inform you that UETCL has informed us of a generation shortfall of 50MW(day) and 120MW (peak) resulting into both day (6am-6pm) and night (6pm-6am) emergency load-shedding. Call 0800185185 for details. We regret all inconveniences." My heart sank when I read this these words.
Blackouts affect local businesses, industries, are a deterrent to foreign investment and encourage night-time robberies since criminals operate best under the cover of darkness. Woe unto you if you do not have a generator or inverter, a gas cooker, or even a standby charcoal iron (since your electric iron will be rendered useless).
Besides resorting to lanterns, food in the fridge will spoil as refrigerators defrost. You will be unable to charge your mobile phone and laptop or watch television. Electrical appliances might get damaged since a sudden surge of electric supply (when power supply is restored) has been known to affect them.
I am now dreading the dark days ahead, because load-shedding is depressing and really reminds us that we are living in a Third-World country!
The arrears the Government owes two independent power suppliers Aggreko and Electromaxx amounts to almost a staggering sh300b!
Already Ugandaâ€™s economy is grappling with high fuel and commodity prices, a double digit 15.8% inflation rate and a weak shilling, so power fluctuations are the last thing we need.
I implore Parliament to grant the Governmentâ€™s request to clear the arrears and to pay for power as soon as possible before public outcry becomes widespread. The cost of doing business is already alarming and if the power problem is not solved as soon as possible, we are in for a rude shock!
Clear Aggreko, Electromaxx arrears as soon as possible