Stakeholders Condemn persistent power outages in Kabale, threaten to demonstrate.

Home » Stakeholders Condemn persistent power outages in Kabale, threaten to demonstrate.

November 16, 2023    By Country Radio   

Stakeholders Condemn persistent power outages in Kabale, threaten to demonstrate.

Stakeholders in Kabale District on wednesday grilled UMEME officials over erratic power supply in the area.

During a meeting held at Kabale Regional referral Hospital intern hostels hall chaired by the Kabale Resident District Commissioner, Godfrey Nyakahuma Canon Engineer Ivan Mbabazi Batuma, the Chairman of the Kigezi Tourism Cluster, and Nicholas Byengoma, the proprietor of Arcadia Cottages in Bunyonyi, stakeholders accused UMEME officials of causing significant disruptions to the power supply in the area, adversely affecting businesses.

According to Batuma and Byengoma, the inconsistent power supply has forced businesses to resort to generators, incurring additional costs due to fuel consumption. They highlighted the detrimental impact on the district’s overall economic development, asserting that the unreliable power supply has caused setbacks for various enterprises.

Dr. Gilbert Arinaitwe Maateka, the Kabale District Health Officer, emphasized that the power issues have resulted in health facilities losing essential equipments like fridges for storing blood. He also disclosed that Kabale Regional Referral Hospital is facing an oxygen shortage due to power-related problems, rendering the oxygen plant non-operational.

Dr. Esther Rutaremwa, the Medical Superintendent of Rugarama Hospital in Kabale Municipality, expressed frustration over power outages affecting critical medical equipment, including the X-ray machine. Rutaremwa noted that these challenges pose a serious risk to patients, particularly infants, with the potential for irreversible brain damage and an increase in infant deaths.

In response to the stakeholders’ concerns, Paul Ssempira, the head of Operations at UMEME for western Uganda, attributed the erratic power supply to trees encroaching on power lines. He stated that 64 percent of power outages in Kabale were caused by transient faults within the main power lines.

However, the stakeholders remained unconvinced by UMEME’s explanation and raised questions about the company’s negligence in the customer care service. They proposed a meeting between UMEME and the Ministry of Energy to find a lasting solution to the power outages in the region.

RDC Nyakauhuma expressed concerns about potential protests by stakeholders in the district due to erratic power supply. He emphasized the possibility of security challenges arising from investors protesting and threatened to take decisive action if UMEME does not comply with resolving the power issues.

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