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Wednesday,October 21,2020 01:53 AM

Rural power gets $13b boost

By Vision Reporter

Added 26th April 2009 03:00 AM

POWER supply lines have been extended to Kagadi in Kibale district to supply electricity which will enable the processing of agricultural products.

POWER supply lines have been extended to Kagadi in Kibale district to supply electricity which will enable the processing of agricultural products.

By Ibrahim Kasita
in Kibale

POWER supply lines have been extended to Kagadi in Kibale district to supply electricity which will enable the processing of agricultural products.

The move will create employment improve household incomes.

The 65Km line covering 12 trading centres of Kiyane, Kyenzige, Mugalike, Kaitemba, Kitemuzi, Mabaale, Pachwa, Karama, Kicanga, Kitooke, Kabwoya and Kigo is part of the Government’s effort to extend electricity to rural areas.

Hillary Onek, the energy minister, commissioned the $13b power project at Mabaale trading centre in Kibale district over the weekend.

The minister explained that the project would supply electricity to several rural growing centres to enable them process their produce, have better health and education services.

“Agricultural developments are centred in rural areas. To modernise agriculture, electricity is central to support agro-processing, provide conducive conditions for a longer shelf life and support in communications to access the market,” he said.

“Electricity is also key to better health services, water supply, better life and improvement of living conditions,” he added. In 2001, President Yoweri Museveni’s government unveiled the rural electrification strategy aimed at raising Uganda’s level of rural electrification from 1% at that time to at least 10% by 2010.

The minister reported that the progress made so far was “fair” because rural electrification stands at 5%, targeting 12% by 2012.

“Our priorities at the moment are district headquarters, agro-processing centres like factories, education institutions, water supply and electricity for information and communication technology applications,” Onek explained.

Kabagambe-Kaliisa, the energy ministry permanent secretary, explained that the project was under the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) II component, which includes a 33Kv line from Nyendo in Masaka town to Bukakata to Lambu landing site.

He said the second phase also includes Nabitende/Itanda in Iganga district and Bugeso/Iwemba in Bugiri.

The works are expected to be completed by the end of this year. “This network will be linked to Kyenjojo by construction of the Katooke-Muchororo section in the next financial year,” he explained.

Kato Keiche, the Japanese ambassador to Uganda, promised to continue promoting rural electrification projects.

“Utilise the available electricity to improve the economy,” he advised.

“Carefully maintain the facility (power line). Avoid power theft and damage, (to preserve) for the future.”

George Nyamyaka, the Kibale district chairman, said the project would “play a critical role in prosperity for all programme,” which is aimed at reducing household poverty levels.

“We shall be able to add value to our agricultural products so that we get high prices.

“Also our artisans will be able to improve the quality of their products rendering them competitive,’ he said.

Matia Kashaija, the internal affairs state minister, advised the local people to keep and maintain security in the area to ensure that development projects are not disrupted.

He appealed to the concessionaires to lower the electricity connection costs because the current prices were hindering people to access the much-needed power to improve livelihoods.

Rural power gets $13b boost

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