A section of locals across the West Nile Sub-region who gathered at Golf Ground on President Museveni’s visit booed Minister for Energy and Mineral development, Ms Ruth Nankabirwa, over the continued electricity crisis in the Sub-region.
Ms Nankabirwa was interrupted by hecklers during the speech on Tuesday when she said the region would soon be connected to the national grid and that the current demand for power is 11 megawatts which will even be excess.
This incensed some of the locals, mainly the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) supporters who booed her, with some, calling the speech a lie and that they are tired of waiting for stable and reliable power supply.
“The suffering is soon coming to an end because we are building the infrastructures where power will be delivered to the people of West Nile,” she said as people continued to jeer and boo her.
“The blind can even go and see the substations and pylons we are building at Muni and Nebbi that will bring power in this region. Imagine some people cannot believe. This is not theory and I’m talking practically,” she said.
The Sub-region has been faced with intermittent power supply generated from the 3.5 megawatt dam in Nyagak and power generated from the 8 megawatt generators by Electromaxx Company.
The NRM government which has been in power for nearly 40 years is currently constructing substations of Muni and Nebbi to tap power from Olwiyo substation for distribution.
“I beg for your patience that we shall soon smile,” she continues amid heckles.
Recently, a youthful Metal Fabricator, Mr Alfred Onyuthuwun, of Love and Friendship metal fabrication and welding in Paidha town, said he has lost several customers because he cannot complete orders for doors, gates, windows in time because of unreliable power supply.
“Adequate power is our strength. But when power is not stable, we become idle and lose income. Feeding, medication and meeting other expenses becomes difficult. Customers lose trust in us because we cannot deliver their items like doors, deckers, gates and windows, among others. We are crying for stable power,” he said.
Similarly, Ms Brenda Aceng, another trader in Paidha town who deals in salon and boutique business besides selling passion fruits, has lost customers due to frequent and long hour power outages.
“The generator I have can’t operate machines like fridges, it only helps in lighting and running the saloon. So, when there is no power, it means that there is no business. During the dry season when the weather is hot, how do you expect someone to be taking hot drinks?” Aceng said.
President Museveni has pitched camp in Arua City as he tours West Nile for three days to popularize Parish Development Model (PDM) and other poverty alleviation programmes which his government that has been in power for nearly 40 years is using as some of the strategies to uplift the lives of Ugandans into the money.