August 7, 2013

MPs Task Minister to Explain Loadshedding

Members of Parliament on the Natural Resources Committee have tasked the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Irene Muloni to explain why most parts of the country are experiencing load shedding.

The MPs said that President Museveni assured people that with the completion of Bujagali dam there will be constant power supply for at least two years but businesses are being inconvenienced due to load shedding in different parts of the city.

Irene Muloni, Uganda's Energy Minister
Irene Muloni, Uganda’s Energy Minister

Kabale municipality MP Aja Baryayanga told the committee that the reason the country is experiencing load shedding barely a year after the commissioning of Bujagali is because the dam doesn’t produce the amount of electricity it was touted to produce upon completion.

Baryayanga argued that the turbines do not have enough water to produce the 50MW that they are supposed to produce each adding that Bujagali produces less than 200MW.

But Muloni disputed the MP’s claims and said that Bujagali produces the anticipated 250MW saying that any load shedding should be explained by the distributors.

She said that any absence of power can be attributed to planned maintenance or unexpected occasional system breakdown at either generational plants or distribution lines.

The Head of Communications at power distribution company Umeme Henry Rugamba explained that there is ongoing maintenance work but said that consumers are notified in such cases.

He said that Uganda Electricity Transmission Company limited is repairing old transmission lines which has disrupted power supply.

But Serere woman MP Alice Alaso wondered if maintenance work takes place even in the night citing areas of Kireka and Namugongo which experience frequent load shedding during evening hours.

She also said that most places don’t get any prior notice and insisted that if it is maintenance the service providers should have prior knowledge and take the responsibility of informing the public.

Rugamba explained that parts of Kireka are highly industrialised and power cuts during the evening and the night could be due to heavy loads on the transformer.

Aswa county MP Regan Okumu demanded that someone take responsibility for the frequent power cuts and the inconveniences they cause because that Umeme load sheds people and gives them high bills at the end of the month.

President Museveni assured people after the commissioning of the Bujagali Hydro Power project in October last year that there won’t be any load shedding as the country now has enough power to cover the current demand.

3 thoughts on “MPs Task Minister to Explain Loadshedding

  1. “…the dam doesn’t produce the amount of electricity it was touted to produce upon completion.” May be it is politically unpalatable but it may be technically correct. The good thing is that this can actually be independently verified. Why doesn’t parliament commission a committee of experts to ascertain the power output at Bujagali?

  2. Economics Applied

    Have you noticed that
    UMEME’s share prices have risen quite dramatically? Sure there must be a
    reason! It can’t be better power supply –
    or distribution as UMEME prefers to call it – as power cuts are as frequent as
    ever! In my area they happen almost every other day! So it’s something else that drives up the
    share price! Have you noticed that when you report a fault the recordings and
    waiting time get longer? And the gracious lady at the other end no longer gives
    you a reference number? She simply says that “the fault is already known and
    they are working on it!” Try and press for that reference number, and you won’t
    get nowhere!! But now UMEME reports to its shareholders that the number of complaints
    is falling month-over-month, confirming the top-class service that customers
    enjoy! Have a bright night!

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