By Spy Uganda
Government is planning to connect power in over 34 districts in the next financial year.
According to Joan Kayanga, the Assistant Commissioner in charge of the rural electrification programme in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, the ministry has commenced the procurement processes for the Grid Expansion Project.
The seven lot project will be funded by the Government of Uganda at an cost of Shs120 billion and is expected to cover 245 schemes in different districts.
“We have commenced the procurement processes and the tendering documents will soon be submitted to the contracts committee for approval before it is published to bidders,” Kayanga said.
This was revealed during a meeting between the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources and officials from the ministry led by the State Minister for Energy, Hon. Sidronius Okaasai Opolot on Tuesday, 04 April 2023.
The committee chaired by Hon. Emmanuel Otaala was inquiring into the current status of works and progress of the rural electrification programme by the ministry ever since they absorbed the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) following government’s rationalisation policy.
Kayanga said that the construction works for the power lines is expected to last for 18 months after the procurement processes are completed.
“Within four months, we would have concluded the procurement process. We hope that we shall be able to commence construction works in August 2023 and complete by February 2025,” she said.
Asked by Otaala whether the ministry has the funds to kick start the project, Kayanga, who was the acting Chief Executive Officer of the defunct REA said the project will be funded through a multi-year contract spanning three financial years.
“In this financial year, we have initiated the procurement processes and if we can have the contract in place, then we shall be able to make the advance payment of 20 per cent. We shall then continue to implement the project in 2023/24 and close it in 2024/2025,” she said.
Tororo South County Member of Parliament, Hon. Fredrick Angura wondered why there was no money allocated for the project in the ministerial policy statement for Financial Year 2023/2024.
“I have perused the ministerial policy statement and there is no allocation for this project in the next financial year. We need to be guided by the minister whether the Ministry of Finance did not consider anything for this project,” Angura said.
The Grid Expansion Project is expected to cover 652kms of medium voltage and 1,700kms of low voltage which is connected to homes.
The districts expected to be connected to the power grid are, Tororo, Pallisa, Mukono, Kiboga, Kumi and Bukedea.
The other are, Kakumiro, Kagadi, Mitooma, Isingiro and Fort.