Uganda, Kenya report nationwide Power outages on Saturday

Kampala/Nairobi – Uganda and Kenya power regulators have announced power outage across the nation with most of part being affected as early as 6 am on Saturday, May 9.

Confirming the power blackout, Uganda’s main electricity distribution company, Umeme Limited confirmed the outage in an alert on their social media platforms

“We have been advised by our supplier, Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) of a nationwide outage,” part of the Power outage alert read.

“The UETCL Team is working to have the power supply restored. We shall keep you updated on progress,” added the alert issued Saturday, May 9.\

This comes barely a fortnight since Uganda’s Water and Environment Ministry revealed that Lake Victoria’s water levels had surged to their highest level in more than half a century posing a threat to the country’s hydropower plants.

President Museveni visits the Owen Falls dam in Jinja to assess impact and progress in restoring power in April 2020

Uganda relies almost entirely on four hydroelectric power dams on the River Nile, which is fed by Lake Victoria.

Lake Victoria is a massive trans-boundary body of water shared by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda with about 23 rivers that bring water into the lake.

Uganda’s water and environment minister, Sam Cheptoris, said intense rains that started around August last year had raised the lake’s water levels to just under 13.4 metres, a mark last recorded in 1964, Reuters reported.

“The increased water level is causing dislodgement of papyrus mats … resulting in a huge mass of floating islands, which are dangerous to hydropower infrastructure,” Cheptoris cautioned.

According to Hon. Cheptoris, the quick rise in water level has also been accelerated by human activities especially environmental degradation.

Umeme’s Kenyan counterpart agency, Kenya Power, in a statement on Saturday morning, confirmed the nationwide outage.

“We have lost power supply in the national grid due to a system disturbance which occurred on our transmission network at 5:49 am this morning,” read the statement

However, the cause of Kenya’s power outage could not immediately established.

“Our engineers are working to identify the hitch and address the hitch towards restoring normal electricity supply,” reads the statement.

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