By Our Reporter
Over the weekend, areas of Wakiso and Kampala witnessed blackouts after Owen Falls-Lugogo transmission line was vandalized. In a related development, Police in Soroti shot dead a Umeme electricity wire thief on Saturday’s morning in Merok Village, Merok Parish, Katine County, along Soroti Lira highway.
The deceased was identified as Anyou Samuel, a male adult and son of Edibu Silver who is a resident in Olano Village, Oculoi Parish, in Oculoi sub-county within Soroti District.
These are just two of many cases of increased vandalism of electricity infrastructure. Following the growing trend, the government has this morning, 15th November, 2022 issued the following statement:
The attention of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) has been drawn to the increased vandalism of the electricity infrastructure.
The 132kV Owen Falls-Lugogo Transmission Line was vandalized at Kivuvu village in Mukono district, leading to four towers falling on the ground on Saturday, November 12, 2022, at 00:36 hours.
Subsequently, the Owen Falls-Mukono North-Mulago Transmission Line was also vandalized at Nasuuti village in Mukono district, leading to one tower falling on the ground on Sunday, November 13, 2022, at 01:10 hours.
The Ministry has also established a Multi-Sectoral Security Coordination Committee comprising MEMD and its Agencies; the Ministries of Defence and Veterans Affairs; Trade, Industry and Cooperatives; and Internal Affairs; the Uganda Police Force and sister security agencies.
Spearheaded by MEMD, the Committee regularly meets to review progress made in implementing anti-vandalism measures that include, among others, an operation led by the Police and awareness of communities.
The rampant vandalism of electricity infrastructure remains a major impediment to delivering quality and reliable power supply, especially to critical sectors such as Health and Manufacturing.
It equally increases power project development costs, frustrates efforts to expand the Grid and accelerate access to electricity services for all Ugandans, and has overall effects on the Economy.
Besides, over Ushs.2 billion is spent annually to replace vandalised power lines, on average. Replacing the five newly vandalised transmission towers will cost Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) over Ush.1 billion (over Ush.200 million each).