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Uganda: funding boost needed for power projects

An additional Shs334 billion ($90 million) is needed for electricity transmission, generation and distribution projects in order to boost power supply, according to the Natural Resources committee.

In its report to Parliament, the committee recommends that government allocates an additional Shs60 billion to the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Shs96.1 billion to Uganda Electricity Generation Company Ltd-UEGCL and Shs178 billion to Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (UETCL) to augment power supply, reports The Monitor.

Dr Keefa Kiwanuka, the Natural Resources Committee Chairperson, noted that the installed generation capacity of 1,100MW cannot be fully utilised due to poor transmission and distribution lines.

The committee is worried that adding Isimba and Karuma dams onto the national grid may not yield the desired results unless the transmission and distribution systems are expanded and upgraded.

There are expectations that Isimba and Karuma hydropower dams will add 1,000MW to the national grid by the end of this year but there are challenges of transmitting and distributing it to users.

President Yoweri Museveni recently blamed energy officials for not doing enough on power utilisation.

Museveni also noted that a modern Uganda needs more power to boost other sectors. Read more: Solar: Lighting up Ugandan households

Kiwanuka agreed with President Museveni on the need of increasing coverage of power distribution from 26% to at least 80% by 2040. Umeme reported that it had about 1.2 million customers in 2018 up from 290,000 customers in 2005.