The Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) has been faulted over the failure to address inconsistent power supply in Northern Uganda.
Business development and industrialization in the Northern Uganda has been affected by intermittent and low power supply.
General Salim Saleh (Rtd), the Chief Coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) has said that much as the government is focused on citizens’ wealth creation and promoting industrialization in the region, power inconsistency, and low supply have remained a major challenge.
He noted that farmers and the business community have for long incurred losses or suffered grounded businesses due to power outages.
Saleh raised the concern on Friday during the Northern Region
Business Forum convened by OWC in partnership with Uganda Development Bank (UDB) at Watoto Church Hall in Gulu City.
The forum attracted up to 600 businessmen from Gulu, Lango and West Nile Region.
Patrick Bitature, the Chairman of Simba Group of Companies and UMEME who shared his investment journey at the forum also noted that the Region is endowed with fertile and vast land for both agriculture and mechanization but industries have often abandoned the region due to power inconsistency.
They tasked the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) which oversees Uganda`s power provider UMEME to ensure a constant and adequate power supply in the region for possible development.
Ziria Tibalwa Waako, the Chief Executive Officer, attributed the problem to having only a one-way grid supply from Tororo which also runs on only 33 KV which is low for industrialization.
She explained that ERA through Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL) plans to extend the power supply in the region to three main lines of Karuma and Aswa Power Dams by 2022 once they are completed.
Patricia Ojangole, the Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Development Bank said the bank will contribute to industrialization and agriculture growtb in the the northern region and other areas of the country through loans to promote household income and wealth creation.
There has been a persistent outcry from residents and the business communities in Northern Uganda over persistent power outages.
Bob Ogen, the Manager West Acholi Cooperative Union said that operations of their machines have been often grounded due to power outages since some of them cannot run on generators.
Recently Martin Ojara Martin Mapenduzi the Gulu LCV Chairperson also disclosed that several factories and industries abandoned operations in Gulu due to inconsistent power supplies and low voltages.