ZOMBO. The Ministry of energy and mineral development in conjunction with the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), have launched the rural electrification project in Northern Uganda seeking to meet the universal access to electricity 2040 target.

The government of Uganda funded the project to the tune of shsh16 billion and additional US Dollars 4 million from the Royal Kingdom of Norway is to finance electricity connections to homes, district headquarters, health centers, schools, and refugee settlements and the nodding disease treatment center in Kitgum.

Speaking during the project groundbreaking ceremony held in Pakolo village, Kaya parish in Paidha sub-county, Zombo district on Thursday; the state minister for energy also Okoro county Member of Parliament Mr Simone D’Ujanga said the ruling NRM government is committed to developing the energy sector to cause socio-economic development.

“I would like to commend the NRM ruling government for prioritizing the energy sector to provide reliable electricity which will eventually culminate into the socio-economic development of the people”, he said.

He said at least 19,000kms of electricity distribution line has been recorded under the rural electrification program which has translated into the connections of over 700,000 consumers onto the national grid.

According to D’Ujanga, this is an increment in rural electricity distribution from 1percent in 2001 to over 16 percent to date. He said REA will offer free electricity connections and intending consumers will only meet the cost of wiring their houses and inspection fee of 22,000 shillings.

He noted that connections to the sub-county headquarters will be done in September this year after its launch in the same month.

“The President will be launching a World Bank-funded project in September this year in order to kick start electricity connections to sub-county headquarters”, he said.

The minister also advised the people to use the electricity productively by initiating small scale business so that they benefit from the project.

Mr Abel Bees, the REA representative said the government has paid for all connection costs and equally urged the people to use the power to increase their household income by starting small enterprises.

“No one should ask for money from you because the government has handled all but what you pay is only the inspection fee of shs22, 000.00”, he said.

The chairman Paidha business community Mr Aggrey Odong, commended the NRM government for promoting the socio-economic empowerment of the people through prioritization of the energy sector among others.

He appealed to the people to allow the REA team to do their work without disruption so that the work is completed within schedule.
The rural electrification project is expected to reach completion by November this year.