Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited has commissioned the 183MW Isimba Hydropower Station Community Development Action Program (CDAP) Phase I works that commenced in December, 2018, in Kayunga and Kamuli Districts.
“It is a big occasion,” Harrison Mutikanga, the UEGCL chief executive officer told journalists on the sidelines of the commissioning event in Kamuli on Nov.13.
“We have provided the facilities, please look after them very well so you maximize the opportunities from them,” he added.
One of the projects is a technical institute. Mutikanga said the earlier plan was to provide the basic infrastructure to facilitate technical education but they have been requested by the communities to also equip the technical facility.
He said UEGCL would work with the ministry of education and sports to get the appropriate equipment for the institute so that people can get maximum benefit from it.
Beyond the technical institute, CDAP is a government program designed to mitigate the increased pressure on local social infrastructure, social services, livelihoods, and natural resources that arose from the implementation and construction of Isimba Hydro Power Plant.
The CDAP total project cost is Shs15bn fully funded by government comprising of works in five lots covering the selected five schools, seven health centers, five sanitation facilities and a technical institute.
The commissioned facilities in Kamuli District include; Lwanyama Technical Institute, Nankandulo Primary School, St. Andrews Primary School, Kiyunga, Nankandulo Health Centre IV, Buluuya Health Centre II, Kiyunga Health Centre II and Mbulamuti Health Centre III. The facilities include classroom blocks, teachers’ houses for schools and general wards, healthcare workers houses and more.
Ahead of the commissioning, UEGCL top officials said, technical inspections with the ministry of health and that of education and sports were carried out to ensure the projects were up to the specified standard.
Speaking during the commissioning ceremony, the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, commended UEGCL for not only building the nation through power generation but also improving the livelihoods of the people neighboring the Isimba Hydro Power Station.
She directed local government officials to pull up their socks and implement government infrastructure projects including roads, health facilities to aid socio-economic transformation.
Kadaga said she had used personal resources to repair a road in the area partly because public servants in the district were sleeping on their job.
She said without good roads and related infrastructure, the commissioned facilities would not serve their purpose.
Meanwhile, Kadaga said Uganda should copy countries like South Africa where utility companies make profit and put aside part of it annually to benefit the communities in which they operate.
She also said she would push for the possibility of having an industrial park in the area near the power plant to support industrialisation, job creation and community transformation.
UEGCL Board of Directors representative, Paul Mwanja, was present at the commissioning ceremony.
“Our tagline, Generating for Generations is not by mistake but rather deliberate because it goes to show our commitment to maintaining a regime that will ensure longevity of our generation facilities as a country,” Mwanja said, adding that they would ensure that the remaining facilities are constructed on time and delivered in line with the stipulated standards.
Mutikanga said, other CDAP facilities in Kayunga that will also be commissioned include; Busaana Health Centre III, Bukamba Health Centre III, Namusaala Health Centre II, Nakakandwa Primary School, Nakatooke Primary School and Busaana Secondary School.
Phase two of the CDAP programme, according to Mutikanga, will involve rural electrification, and tree planting to protect river banks to ensure that the country has sustainable hydropower generation.
Mutikanga said, by delivering these projects, they are demonstrating their commitment as a company to deliver 1300MW by 2023 in line with the National Development Plan III.
By | JULIUS BUSINGE |
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