MASAKA – Did you know that most deaths by electrocution are as a result of illegal power connections.?
Unlawful connections not only lead to death but also cost the economy the much needed electricity needed to power businesses and light up communities in which we operate.
As a result, power distributor Umeme and the Uganda Police force embarked on a drive to clean up the country of illegal connections and curb power theft, a vice that is detrimental to the development of the country.
Speaking during the launch of the Komboa operations in the greater Masaka region, Mr. Akatuhebwa Eriasto, the Resident District Commissioner for Masaka said, the Komboa operation is timely, and its importance cannot be overemphasized.
“Government of Uganda has stressed the importance of electricity to economic growth. This power theft directly affects those efforts,” he said.
He cautioned the public to desist from power theft and commended Umeme and Police for the effort.
Ms Barbara Kasande, the Masaka District Operations manager said in Masaka subregion alone the country loses about 30.4% of the supplied power which translates to 8,476,427 kWh units lost.
“This is costing us USD $1.1 million translating to about UGX 4 billion,” Ms. Kasande said.
Umeme launched the Komboa Operations country wide to curb power theft and illegal connections in different areas, a vice that was detrimental to the country.
Ms. Christine Namutebi, the Umeme Metering Services Manger while speaking at the Komboa operation in Masaka said they started these operations in March with Kampala areas.
“We have been able to pacify the Eastern part of the country with operations that in April in the areas of Jinja, Bugisu and Bukedi sub regions. We have now extended these operations to the West starting with the greater Masaka region. The Masaka region covers the districts of Masaka district, Masaka city, Kyotera, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi, Sembabule, Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde and many others,” she explained.
Namutebi says since inception, Umeme together with the Uganda Police Force have discovered more than 5000 metre anomalies and disconnected close to 3,700 direct supplies and arrested over 4000 people.
“Many of them have been able to settle their dues and connected using the proper channels,” she said.
The exercise is already bearing fruit manifested in the energy loses that have reduced from 18.9% in March to 17.9 by end of April% and increase electricity sales on the domestic front by 4 per cent in the short time.
Customers are encouraged to utilize the available channels to access power connections. Umeme launched an online electricity applications portal dubbed MyUmemeOnline to assist customers apply for connections.