Locals to sue gov’t for failing to connect W. Nile to national grid

BY ANDREW COHEN AMVESI     

September 22, 2022

ARUA. The residents of West Nile are warming up to sue the government of Uganda for failing to connect the region to the national grid.

The locals have vowed to make the first-ever historic move of dragging the government to court in October this year.

According to the residents, the failure by the government to connect the region to the national grid since time immemorial, has led to loss of lives, property and has greatly affected the economic development of the region.

For years, the people of West Nile have been relying on thermal and mini-hydro power supplied by Electromaxx and West Nile Rural Electrification Company (WENRECo) respectively.

The Electromaxx generators supply unreliable power in West Nile Region. PHOTO BY ANDREW COHEN AMVESI

But over the years, the locals have been complaining of the unreliable power supplied by the two companies which they say has led to loss of lives in hospitals as well as crippling people’s businesses in the region.

It is for this reason that early last month, a team representing the people of West Nile petitioned the office of Annet Anita Among, the Speaker of Parliament to re-echo their continued demand to have the region connected to the national grid. They also asked the government to consider terminating the contracts of WENRECo and Electromaxx for offering poor services to the people of the region.

As a result, the Speaker sent the Parliamentary Committee of Environment and Natural Resources to the region to assess the situation, a report the committee is yet to table on the floor of Parliament.

However, as the team continues to engage the different arms of the government to see that the region is connected to the national grid, the locals have gone ahead to announce plans to drag the government to court next month, a move they referred to as their ‘last resort.’

“Judiciary is our final step and God willing in October we shall make a historic move for West Nile through the Courts. We now have a clear strategy along these lines and we should be filing a case as the people of West Nile next month,” Mercy Grace Munduru, one of the activists pushing for the connection of the West Nile region to the national grid announced early this week.

“The strategic engagements are ongoing and your participation will be communicated in due course. What is important right now is, a request for information on people who have lost their dear ones through our health facilities due to power outages and people who have lost their livelihoods due to our lack of connectivity to the grid. We will be happy to have examples from Koboko, Yumbe, Nebbi, Pakwach, Zombo, Arua district and city, Maracha, Terego, Adjumani and Moyo. Please reach out to me privately,” Munduru requested.

She also launched a social media campaign aimed at continuing with the pressure on key stakeholders to honor their commitments to West Nle for connection to the National Grid by March 2023.

“We shall have special campaigns aligned to key national and international events. The first of these is Independence Day! Yes, Uganda will be celebrating a lot of milestones but what is West Nile in darkness celebrating?” Munduru asked.

 

 

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