By ronald kalyango
-Only Abim district has power in Karamoja
-Project to cost sh9.7b
Amudat and Nakapiripirit districts will soon be connected to the national power grid. The districts will benefit from the sh9.7b power line that was launched on Saturday.
The project is funded by the Government. Peter Lokeris, the mineral development state minister, said work on the project would take 15 months.
â€œWhen I was transferred to the energy ministry, I requested my technical officers to extend power to this region. I am happy that they have responded to my plea,â€ said Lokeris, who is also the Chekwii county Member of Parliament.
He was launching the project at the Nakapiripirit district headquarters. Chinese company, CPCC International Company-Uganda, is undertaking the works.
CPCCâ€™s marketing manager, Johnson Chang, assured the people of Nakapipirit that they would complete the assignment in time.
â€œWe shall complete the works in the stipulated time as per our agreement with the Government,â€ said Chang. Eng. Godfrey Werikhe, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) project and development manager, revealed that the agency would connect the whole Karamoja to the main grid.
The region consists of six districts, but it is only Abim which is connected to the national power grid. Others yet to be connected include Kaabong, Moroto and Kotido districts.
Werikhe said their priority would be extending power to district headquarters, agro-processing and ICT centres, health facilities, educational institutions and water supply plants.
â€œWire your houses in advance and plan how to use the power for income generating activities like agro-processing,â€ said Werikhe. REAâ€™s spokesperson, Patricia Litho, challenged the residents to use the power for poverty eradication activities to improve their household income.
She added that her office would sensitise the communities on how best to the power.