Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda`s power distribution firm, Umeme limited has said that the Northern region will continue experiencing power outages.
The region has been experiencing persistent power outages for over thirty years. But Umeme has attributed the problem to the single source of power transmission and vandalism on the equipment which they say has not been fully controlled.
In parts of Gulu, Kitgum, Omoro and Gulu districts there has been inconsistent power supply for several weeks triggering unrest among residents.
On Monday morning a section of leaders from Northern Uganda which included Gilbert Olanya, the secretary general for Acholi parliamentary group (APG), Patrick Oola Lumumba the chairperson for Bardege division in Gulu municipality and Gulu based lawyer Denis Okello Oweka stormed the office of the Gulu region area manager for Umeme demanding for explanations to the power outages.
Oweka told URN that the inconsistent power supply has crippled several businesses in Gulu town especially those using electricity.
He said their decision was prompted by the recent power outage within Gulu, Omoro and Amuru districts that had no power supply for three days without explanation from the distribution company.
Olanya who led the group said they are concerned that the power outages may affect candidates sitting for their national examination during this period yet they are lacking power at homes for revision.
He added that the impromptu meeting was to identify problems that Umeme is facing in Northern Uganda which they think must be addressed through parliament to prevent the blackout once and for all.
Disgruntled, Oola of Bardege faulted Umeme for same excuses on falling poles during heavy rains and wild bush fire during dry seasons as well as vandalism of electricity line installations.
However Tom Auzu, the Gulu region area manager for Umeme told the leaders that the problem will still persist because the problems including a single power distribution source, vandalism of electric equipment and harsh weather are beyond their control.
He explained the Umeme`s role is only to distribute power which is generated by Uganda Electricity but the Northern Region continuously suffer blackouts whenever there are problems along its only one supply line stretching 120 kilometres off the grid from Soroti to Oyam via Bobi and finally to Gulu Sub Station in Layibi.
Auzu noted that apart from vandalism of Umeme installations and poor weather affecting power lines, the region needs to get other alternative sources of power so that whenever one goes off the other is switched on.
He says the problems are likely to persist until the alternative power distribution sources at Aswa Dam in Pader and Karuma falls dams become fully functional.
The two power sources are still under construction by Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL).