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Uganda lost Sh25 billion to vandalism, power theft in 2020

An electric poll down, after the transformer vandalized

Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  Government through the Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited -UEDCL made a loss of sh25.5billion in 2019/2020 financial year due to vandalism and power theft. 

UEDCL operates various businesses like leasing out electricity distribution infrastructure to UMEME, electricity pole plant operations and electricity distribution in eight territories countrywide under a management agreement with the Rural Electrification Agency-REA.

Jonan Kiiza, the UEDCL Communication Officer says that their annual book value for 2019/2020 indicates that they made Shillings 75 billion but lost sh25.5 billion to power theft, vandalism of electricity distribution infrastructure and losses incurred in the process of transmitting power.

He says the power theft and vandalism have not only created loss for the government but also impeded power supply across the country, something that has greatly affected business and production.  Kiiza revealed that the vices are more common in Bulambuli, Rakai, Kyotera, Masaka and Kagadi districts.

According to Kiiza, they are hunting for vandals in Kyotera district who cut down five electricity poles and stole 500 meters of conductor last week. 

Doreen Ogenga, the UMEME Operations Manager for Gulu disclosed that in Acholi Sub –Region, bush burning remains their biggest challenge to power supply as several poles are destroyed by the fire.

She says that some power consumers have also been by–passing their meters, which affects revenue collection.

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