The political and technocratic ping pong game has continued as power consumers in the West Nile Sub-region await to be connected to the national grid.
The power consumers say the current power supply by West Nile Rural Electrification Company (WENRECO) is too pitiful to attract investors to pitch camp in the sub-region. WENRECO works off 3.5MW from Nyagak power dam in Zombo District and Electromax company that has thermal generators at Ewuata in Arua District.
Dr Paul Onzubo, the Maracha District Health Officer, said: “West Nile is the second poorest sub-region in Uganda” because “we don’t have access to adequate and reliable power.”
He said businessmen cannot generate enough income when there is inadequate and intermittent power.
Mr Moses Etukibo, the managing director of West Nile Cooperative Union, concurs, adding: “government’s vision [of] social economic transformation of peasantry economy to pre-industrial and industrial economy” cannot be realised with the current state of affairs.
Last month, Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa pleaded for patience from power consumers in West Nile. She said the Sub-region will be added to the national grid in March of 2023.
Members of Parliament’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee have for the past two days engaged power consumers in the West Nile Sub-region. The committee head, Dr Emmanuel Otala (Budama West), said they discovered that the sub-region is grappling with intermittent power supply amid growing demand.
The committee is camping in the sub-region following a petition presented to House Speaker Anita Among by disgruntled power consumers from the area. The committee also toured the two power substations under construction in Nebbi and Arua City at Muni, Nyagak I and II in Zombo District.