KAMPALA – Government, through Rural Electrification Agency (REA), is set to embark on massive distribution of power across the country.
The development comes after Parliament okayed government to borrow US$ 200 million from the Exim Bank of China to finance the power distribution project targeting rural areas.
Syda Bbumba, a member on the Natural resources Committee in Parliament told East African Business Week on Tuesday that the exercise will kick off towards the end of January 2019.
“We want to see all sub counties across the country connected on the national grid; our country is performing poorly when it comes to grid connections especially in the rural areas. As Parliament, we allowed government to borrow the resources to ensure that all Ugandans have access to power,” she explained.
Bbumba observed that adding majority of Ugandans onto the national grid will foster economic growth in most parts of the country.
“Access to power can drive economic transformation our Youth are not in Business because they are not connected to the national grid once it’s done we shall see more engaging in small and Medium Enterprises such as metal fabrication and many other enterprises that uses power,” she added.
Although Uganda has improved power connectivity especially in urban areas, rural areas especially hard-to-reach areas like islands and Mountainous regions in the country are not doing well.
On many occasion the government has tried to ensure that more rural Ugandans have access to power but the challenge has been limited financial resources.
According to the Executive director of REA Godfrey Turyahikayo, the implementation of the US$200 million will see the rural national grid connectivity reach 40% once the project is fully implemented as it was designed.
REA is implementing a rural electrification Strategy and Plan 2013-2022 which is expected to cost government about US$951.6 million.
The overall objective of the plan is to ensure that all parts of the country are connected to the national grid.