Broke UMEME Suspends Rural Connectivity Project Over Lack Of Funds

Broke UMEME Suspends Rural Connectivity Project Over Lack Of Funds

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By Spy Uganda

Kampala: Power distribution company, Umeme Limited has suspended the Electricity Connections Policy (ECP) program due to lack of sufficient funds.

“Due to a realignment of priorities and financial resources by the government in part brought by the unexpected Covid-19 pandemic, the ECP program has been put on hold until further notice,” reads a statement by Peter Kaujju, the communications head at Umeme.

The ECP was launched in  2018.Customers were required to pay only shs20,000 for inspection and government caters for the remaining connection fees in a move aimed at connecting 300,000 customers annually implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency.

“The Ministry of Energy , the Electricity Regulatory Authority and REA are fully aware of the current constraints and we are confident a solution will be found to sustain this program.”

Umeme Statement On REA Project Suspension

The Electricity Connections Policy (ECP) is a 10-year program ending 2027 aimed at increasing access to electricity but also provide clean energy to Ugandans.

As part of the program customers receive a 100% subsidy from government to cover the cost of the last mile connection and customers are only required to pay shs20,000 inspection fees.

At an average of 75 kWh per year, Uganda has one of the lowest electricity consumption per citizen on the continent and according to the ECP program all Ugandans who are within one pole to their premises where the national grid extends are beneficiary to the project.

Government hopes that by taking off the burden of paying to get to the grid, more people will be connected after paying only shs20,000 inspection fees.

According to Umeme, 245310 connections have so far been completed since the launch of the program in 2018.

Last week, the Umeme Managing Director, Selestino Babungi asked government to review the Electricity Connections Policy.

Last month, Umeme said they were pausing connections under the Electricity Connections Policy due to failure by government to pay $25m for 105,412 connections out of the 244,307 target valued at $57m, made by May ,2020.

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