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Refurbishment of Lira–Kitgum power lines starts

Falling electricity poles on the power grid between Kitgum and Lamwo district being managed by PACMECS. Photo By Dan M. Komakech

Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  The refurbishment of the Gulu –Lira and Gulu –Kitgum power lines has commenced. 

The Six Billion Shillings project was to take the last six months from November 2019 to April 2020, but due to the outbreak of COVID -19, it was halted only to resume this month. 

Jonan Kiiza, the Communication Officer for Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited says that the project aims at replacing the distribution infrastructure ranging from wooden to concrete poles, new conductors from the current small ones of 25mm to 200mm, insulators and ensuring that the distribution lines are robust and can be ably interchanged in case one of them if off.

Kizza revealed that most of the distribution infrastructure along the Gulu –Lira and Gulu -Kitgum power lines have not been replaced since the 1950s when the lines were constructed, something he attributed to the power unreliability in the region.

According to Kiiza, the project whose main objective is to ensure power reliability and availability in the region is being funded by the Government of Uganda and that the work is being undertaken by Power Africa Uganda Limited and Segken Services Limited for the Gulu –Lira line and MUTTCO for the Gulu –Kitgum line.

He also warns that due to the on-going project, Gulu and Kitgum district shall be facing a planned power shutdown. 

Gulu has for the past two weeks experienced constant power blackouts. On Monday this week, UMEME issued a notification for a power blackout in Gulu for one week.

Doreen Ogenga, the Operations Manager of UMEME in Gulu says they have been informing the general public every month about the planned power shutdown to enable the refurbishment work to continue but the discomfort due to the power outage has raised a lot of concerns from the customers.

According to Ogenga, the planned power shutdown shall end in May this year when most of the work on the power lines is complete.

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