KAMPALA – The Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) has been faulted over the failure to address inconsistent power supply in Northern Uganda.
The power regulatory authority has been accused of sabotaging business development and industrialization in the Northern Region due to intermittent and low power supply.
General Salim Saleh, the Chief Coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) says that much as the government is struggling to create wealth and promote industrialization in the region, power inconsistency, and low supply have remained a major challenge.
He noted that farmers and the business communities have for so long incurred losses or suffered grounded businesses due to power outages.
Saleh raised the concern on Friday during the Northern Region Business Forum organized by the Uganda Development Bank (UDB) in Gulu City.
Patrick Bitature, the Chairman of Simba Group of Companies also noted that the Northern Region is endowed with fertile and vast land for both agriculture and mechanization but industries have often abandoned the region due to power inconsistency.
They tasked the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) which oversees Uganda`s power provider UMEME to ensure a constant and adequate power supply in the region for possible development.
But Ziria Tibalwa Waako the Chief Executive Officer attributed the problem to having only a one-way grid supply from Tororo which also runs on only 33 KV which is low for industrialization.
She explained that ERA through Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL) plans to extend the power supply in the region to three main lines of Karuma and Aswa Power Dams by 2022 once they are completed.
Patricia Ojangole, the Managing Director of Uganda Development Bank says they want to promote industrialization and agriculture in the country including the northern region through loans to promote household income and wealth creation.
There has been a persistent outcry from residents and the business communities in Northern Uganda due to persistent power outages.
Bob Ogen, the Manager West Acholi Cooperative Union says that operations of their machines have been often grounded due to power outages since some of them cannot run on generators.
Recently Martin Ojara Martin Mapenduzi the Gulu LCV Chairperson also disclosed that several factories and industries abandoned operations in Gulu due to inconsistent power supplies and low voltages.