Umeme to power 87,000 households under new connection driveThe customer funded connections initiative was set up to enable those who can finance house connections to pay and get connected, especially those in real estate and to reduce energy losses stemming from illegal connections.
Some 825 rural consumers in Luuka district will be connected to the grid by power distributor Umeme under a revamped rural electrification drive that aims to switch-on some 87,500 households before the end of the year.
The drive, launched in Waibuga-subcounty in Luuka Disctrict on September 14, follows the disbursement of an USD100 million loan to the government of Uganda’s Electricity Connection Program by the African Development Bank.
The distributor who is one of the implementing partners under the Ministry of Energy’s Electricity Agency Program will use part of the proceeds to activate 87,500 no-pole connections out of the 250,000 applicants, whose applications have been pending since 2019.
Energy and Minerals minister Ruth Nankabirwa, who presided over the launch in Luuka, the push to connect more consumers to the grid formed part of efforts to increase access to clean anergy while also creating pathways for the evacuation of power in the wake of increased generation capacity.
Blessing Nshaho, Umeme’s Chief Corporate and Regulatory Officer, who represented Selestino Babungi, the Managing Director, said the utility had so far completed the connection of the 22,371 consumers of the 87,500 applicants.
“We expect to complete the pending connections by the end of this year. Under Luuka District, we have so far received 500 applications from customers who are eligible to be connected under the AfDB funding,” Nshaho said.
A total of 825 new connections are envisaged in Luuka District while the program is targeting 2,032 connections for the Greater Iganga Area.
Nshaho urged the local leaders to sensitize the communities to own the electricity network and to desist from vandalism which interferes with power supply, stifling socio-economic transformation.
According to Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan the African Development Bank Country Manager fort Uganda, the project will yield 164,077 household connections out of which 87,500 customers, funded by the EU- Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, will be installed within the Umeme footprint countrywide.
The Bank, he said, is involved in the whole value chain of the Uganda Electricity Supply Industry from generation, transmission, and distribution. The interventions are funded through both the public and private sector financing windows. The Bank has so far provided more than USD 666 million to the energy sector through public and private sector financing.
“In particular to today’s event, I would like to mention that the Bank approved, in September 2015, the Uganda Rural Electricity Access Project for an amount of USD 100 million and also mobilizing additional EURO 11.205 million from the European Union Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund. The last mile connection that we are launching today is one of the project components,” Ngafuan said.
The last mile connections apply to consumers who have already wired their homes, and have passed inspection and only require a no-pole connection.