UMEME’s 2BN investment would reduce power accidents

By Moses Kidandi

Electricity distributor UMEME is investing two billion shillings on emergency refurbishment works of the Iganga-Bugiri power distribution line to check power outages.

The repairs, which will begin in May and end in September, will be a welcome relief for the utility’s over 1,000 customers served by the line.

Blasio Kasobya, the UMEME area customer service engineer, explained that the dilapidated old line, which passes through swampy areas, has been in dire need of repair.

“The line was in poor condition. It used to go off for at least 10 times a month with an average duration of three hours. This is definitely not good for our customers,” Kasobya noted.

Stephene Illungole UMEME’s media manager says the restoration of the line will lead to a reduction in the duration of outages and their frequency. Kasobya disclosed that the works will involve the upgrade of conductors and the insulation of outage prone points along the swampy section of the line. It will also involve the erection of up to 450 poles and strengthening of a 112-kilometre cable.

UMEME’s move to refurbish the line follows approval on April 16, 2019 by the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA).

UMEME said the renovation of the power line will be a big boost as it allows the connection of more people to the network in its support of the government access agenda. Mr. Selestino Babungi, the UMEME managing director, said the works will be expeditiously carried out to offer customers assured and more reliable supply with less outages.

“Not only will the works provide reliable supply, the quality of supply will also be greatly enhanced,” Babungi pledged his customers.

“Unfortunately, during the repair period, there may be intermittent supply as a result. We appeal to our customers to bear with us during this period for a great and better service delivery at the end of the day,” Babungi stated.