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UEGCL rushes CDAP plan ahead of Isimba launch

It remains unclear on how much consumers will pay for the electricity generated even as UEGCL plans to sell electricity to the national grid at US4 cents per unit

Kampala, Uganda | ISAAC KHISA | The multi-billion dollar Community Development Action Plan at Isimba Hydropower Project has started, clearing the way for construction and upgrading of schools, health Centres, latrines and clean water supply in Kayunga and Kamuli Districts.

The two districts share the dam on the downstream of River Nile, and it is slated for commissioning next month. Uganda Electricity Distribution Company, a government agency responsible for development and operation of Isimba Hydropower Dam, broke the ground for classroom works, health centres and boreholes, estimated to cost Shs 5.5billion.

CDAP is a government programme whose aim is to mitigate the social challenges that arose from the construction of the 183MW Isimba Hydropower Dam.

The scope of the plan includes provision of improved health care, education, clean water, latrines and electricity.

UEGCL Chief Executive Officer, Harrison Mutikanga, said the community developments are aimed at ensuring that the lives of the people living near the dam is not affected.

“Prior to implementation of this project, a section of people near the dam depended on fetching water in R. Nile. Now they cannot do that because after embankment, it looks less like a lake and people can’t fetch water from there,” he said. “So, the best alternative was for us to drill for them boreholes.”

He said the company also decided to extend other social services including schools and health services as a way of giving back to the communities that were affected by the dam project.

Rebecca Kadaga, the Woman Member of Parliament for Kamuli District and Speaker of the Uganda Parliament as well as Amos Lugolobi, the legislature for Ntejeru South Constituency in Kayunga District applauded UEGCL for the new community development in their areas.

Daisy Kisakye, a resident of Nampanyi Village, Busaana Town Council in Kayunga District told The Independent that the extension of water services in their areas has eased their lives.

“We have indeed been suffering over the past period struggling to look for since the dam construction started because they could not allow us near the river,” she said.

Another resident found at Buluya Health Centre II in Kamuli District revealed that it has been tough for them to access various health services especially those that required specialized treatment.

Isimba Hydropower Dam is currently undergoing test trials ahead of commissioning next month and subsequent handover of the facility to UEGCL for operation and maintenance in April this year.

The commissioning of the Dam is expected to boost the country’s electricity to the national grid to 1033 to meet the growing demand that is said to be growing at 10% per annum.   The dams is also expected to provide reliable electricity and energy output for Uganda and the neighboring countries.

This new development comes at the time electricity consumption in the country at the current 215kWh per person per year remains lowest in Africa. On average, the poorest people in sub-Saharan Africa consume 552kWh per person per year.

However, it remains unclear on how much consumers will pay for the electricity generated even as UEGCL plans to sell electricity to the national grid at US4 cents per unit lower than the current US$8 cents being offered by the Bujagali Hydropower Dams.

Some CDAP beneficiaries in the two districts

Nakandulo Primary School

St. Peter’s Kibuzi Sec School

Busaana Sec School

Busaana Health Centre II

Nakakandwa Primary School

Namusara Health Centre II

Lwanyama Teachnical Institute

Kayunga Health Centre II

Mbalamuti Health Centre II

St. Andrews Primary School

Bukamba Health Centre II

VIP latrines and toilets in both districts

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