Kanungu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The business community in Kanungu District is bothered by the intermittent power supply in the area.
Kanungu depends on the 33 KiloVolt (KV) Rukungiri-Kanungu and Muhanga-Rugyeyo power line. But, according to residents, the line blacks out often leaving them in total darkness for longer hours, especially during day time. The problem is even worse when it rains.
Charles Turyabitunga Bineguro, Fausta Tumuheirwe and Ezra Tusingwiire, all businessmen in Kihihi town council say that power outage has become a top barrier towards the success of their businesses which depend entirely on the availability of power. They include welding and carpentry businesses.
They accuse Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL), a company responsible for distributing power to domestic and commercial end-users in Uganda for failure to ensure a regular supply of power in the district. They add because of the poor supply, they have to pay huge bills to keep their businesses running.
Nickson Mulaki, the General Manager of Kabiriti energy drink processing plant says that they have been forced to spend more than 500,000 Shillings on a monthly basis to power a standby generator for powering the factory machines.
Moses Twesigwomwe, the Manager of Kihihi Farmers’ Cooperative Society says that because they have no standby generator, works at their Rice Grading and Millet Milling Plant in Karubeizi parish is halted whenever the power goes off. According to Twesigwomwe, the plant has a capacity to produce between 7-10 tonnes of rice and maize flour, yet, at the moment, they cannot produce, even produce a quarter of that.
Gad Rugaaju Ahimbisibwe, the Kanungu Deputy Resident District Commissioner says that his office has received several complaints about the power outages and its effect on their businesses. He however adds that the problem will be solved once the power plant that is being constructed in Kinkiizi west county is complete.
Godfrey Tudde, the UEDCL manager in charge of South West says that the irregular power supply is caused by unavoidable technical challenges.
In June 2017, Residents of Kanungu town council in the same district held a demonstration and shut down UEDCL offices over power outage. However, up to date, nothing positive has changed.