NEBBI. In a bid to foster development, the government of Uganda has earmarked USD2M (about shs7.4bn) for the extension of hydroelectricity power to four sub-counties of Nebbi district.

The State Minister of Energy, Mr Simon D’ujanga identified the sub-counties as Atego, Ndew, Kucwiny and Erussi.

According to the Minister, the plan to connect power to the sub-counties has been long overdue, adding that the government has now decided to kick-start the project on August 1, 2019.

D’ujanga noted that following the new government policy of rural electrification, it is a mandate for electricity to reach all rural areas in the country in order to bring development.

“We are working round the clock to see that electricity supply to rural areas is intensified so that every household is connected to power for both domestic and industrial purposes,’’ D’ujanga told West Nile Web in an interview on Tuesday.

He said for long, the people of West Nile region have been in darkness and continuous inadequate power supply despite the existence of West Nile rural electrification company (WENRECo).

“Now that government has procured four generators which have been planted at Ewuata in Arua town to help in stabilising power in the region, people will soon start enjoying electricity,” D’ujanga stressed.

In a related incident, the Minister said the government has borrowed USD100M from the World Bank to connect West Nile to the national grid, a project which will be completed by mid-2021.

“We have secured the money and work has already started with the process of compensating people whose property will be destroyed to pave way for the extension of a130kv line from Lira to West Nile,” D’ujanga said.

The Minister further observed that substations will be established in Pakwach, Nebbi and Zombo districts while another will be put in Arua to supply the rest of the districts.

Mr Richard Binega, the Kucwiny sub-county chairperson said they are extremely happy about the news of power extension to their area.

“We have been waiting for power for decades and that is why we are poor. With the coming of electricity, I’m sure people will set up small scale industries to alleviate poverty,” Binega said.

He, however, appealed to government to speed up the process so that investors can also come in to establish factories in the area, given the vast land in place.