Business

Gov’t Starts Free Power Connections in Villages

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“We only request the premise owners to contact certified electricians to wire their premises and inform any power distribution company near them. Their premises will be connected for free.”


The Minister was speaking at the workshop organized by the United Nations Foundation in partnership with the World Wide-Fund for Nature Uganda held at Protea Hotel in Kampala.


Presenting a keynote speech “Towards Universal Energy Access in Uganda,” Muloni revealed that the free power connections is targeting 1.28 million new service connections in the short and medium term.”


“To increase number of connections, we are implementing the output based aid programme which provides a subsidy to enable electricity connections in the rural areas,” she said.


“This has been introduced because while some people may be able to pay electricity consumption, many are unable to connect due to inability to pay the connection fees.”


The Minister urged power distribution service providers and development partners to buy into this strategy for both increasing the financial basket and vigilance in connections.


The Rural Electrification Agency is implementing the free power connections programme through its Energy for Rural Transformation (ERT) output based aid programme.


The World Bank, the German development bank, KfW, and the Norwegian government have provided US$ 60 million to support free connections.


The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, according to Muloni, is implementing the rural electrification strategy and plan on “a model of scaled, multi-technology electricity service territories comprising the entire rural territory in the country.”


“The overall objective of the Rural Electrification Strategy Plan is to position the electrification programme on a path that will progressively advance towards achievement of universal electrification by the year 2040,” she said.


“By (the year) 2022, we hope to have achieved an electrification level of 22 percent and have a in place a robust enabling environment and springboard for achieving this ambitious target.”


The Minister said Uganda fully subscribes to aims of ensuring universal access to modern energy services, doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix and doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency.


“Access to modern forms of energy transforms people. It changes the way they behave, improves their levels of productivity and liberates marginalized society,” she said.


Uganda’s access to electricity stands at about 15 percent. Most of the rural population largely depends on kerosene for lighting when it gets dark.


The low level of electrification is an impediment to the achievement of the national vision 2040 which is “a transformed Ugandan society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country within 30 years.”

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