Kitgum, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Residents and business operators whose ventures mainly rely on electricity in Kitgum municipality have petitioned the office of the area MP over inconsistent power supply in the area.
The residents argue that the intermittent power supply is frustrating their businesses, affecting social service delivery and exposing them to security threats. Their lead petitioner Charles Odera Otto, says that they opted to petition the MP to compel the official power distributor, Umeme, to explain and act to end the power fluctuations and load-shedding.
According to Odera, the power blackouts have negatively affected their businesses, and many of them have lost electrical appliances and properties valued in millions of Shillings.
Teddy Layet, a businesswoman operating a grinding mill in Pager division says the unplanned power outages have left many people jobless since most of their work is dependent on electricity supply. She is concerned that criminals are taking advantage of the darkness that covers the area at night to cause havoc in homes and on the roadside.
Richard Lagang, a resident of Westland A Cell in Central Division is perturbed that they are still slapped with huge bills despite the unreliable power supply.
Kitgum Municipality MP Denis Onekalit said he is engaging Umeme for a solution to the power crisis and commended the locals for seeking peaceful means of handling their grievances.
The technical supervisor at the Umeme Kitgum branch, Boniface Odong attributes the outages to technical problems and constant breakdown on distribution lines being manned by sister power distribution service providers. Odong however says some outages are planned due to routine maintenance of broken power lines, while others are due to natural causes like heavy rains, strong winds and wild bush fires.
Officials at Umeme have pledged commitment to ensuring that the defects on the power grid that are from their part are rectified and constant surveillance is observed within two months such that constant power supply is restored.