April 11, 2013

Umeme Loses 61% Power in Eastern Uganda to Theft

Power Distribution Company, Umeme says it loses at least 61 percent of the power consumed in Bugisu and Bukedi region to theft. Richard Lubega, the company’s Eastern Regional Manager attributes the power loss to illegal connections.

He says the power theft and vandalism targeting key power installations such as transformers has greatly their service delivery to power consumers. According to Lubega, the power company finds too costly to replace some of the equipment lost to vandalism.

He says that company losses about two billion shillings every year as a result of vandalism. A transformer costs about 30 million shillings each. Lubega cited Butaleja, Manafwa, Bulambuli, Kapchorwa, Bududa, and Sironko districts as some of the areas with the highest cases of power theft and vandalism.

Lubega was on Tuesday speaking at stakeholder’s consultative meeting chaired by the dean of Resident District Commissioners, Capt Asiimwe Martha at Gabriella hotel in Butaleja town.

They were discussing on how to curb the rampant power theft and vandalism of transformers in the area. Lubega asked residents to help Umeme and the police in safeguarding electricity installations from vandals saying this will also help them to have steady power supply.

Capt. Martha Asiimwe, the dean of RDCs described vandalism and power theft in the energy sector as economic sabotage. She called for stringent measures to address the problems.

Alex Olowo, the Butaleja acting District Police Commander decried the high number of people who have died because of illegal power connection in the area. He notes that many people die because they are ignorant about the dangers of illegal power.

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