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Uganda hit by nationwide power outage due to a system failure

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Uganda was hit by a nationwide power outage on Wednesday due to a system failure, the country’s power company said.

Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) said in a statement that the outage followed a fault on emergency transmission between its power generating house at Nalubaale Hydropower Plant in the eastern district of Jinja and Lugogo substation in the capital, Kampala.

Umeme Limited, the country’s main electricity distribution company, said everything is being done to restore power supply.

“We have been advised by our supplier UETCL of a nationwide outage. The UETCL team are working to restore supply,” Umeme said in a statement.

Uganda last month experienced a blackout after four towers on the Jinja-Kampala line collapsed in Mukono due to vandalism.

Manufacturers in the east African country have complained of inadequate power supply, saying it is affecting their business.



Lightning kills three pupils, injures 73 in NW Uganda

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- At least three pupils were killed and 73 others injured after they were struck by lightning in the northwestern Ugandan district of Yumbe on Wednesday, a police spokesperson said here.

Patrick Onyango, deputy police spokesperson, told Xinhua by telephone that three pupils were killed on spot, 20 critically injured while 53 others survived with minor injuries.

He said the incident occurred at Mugonyo Primary School as pupils were in their classrooms.

“The 20 critically injured pupils are admitted in hospital. Some 53 were treated and discharged,” said Onyango.

The police spokesperson urged school authorities in the country to install lightning arrestors in order to prevent such tragic incidents.

Uganda National Meteorological Authority last month issued an alert about heavy rains, coupled with flooding, thunderstorms and lightning.

The authority said that some mountainous parts of the country may experience landslides as the rain season enters peak.


Uganda secures U.S. 212 million dollar Chinese loan for rural electrification

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Uganda has secured a 212 million U.S. dollar loan from China to help in the electrification of rural areas, a top government official has said.

Irene Muloni, minister of energy and mineral development, told Xinhua in an interview on Tuesday that the loan was secured from the Export-Import Bank of China.

“As partners in development we appreciate the help we receive from China to the energy sector. We shall ensure there is value for money,” Muloni said.

She said through the Rural Electrification Agency, the government will ensure that all sub-counties in the country receive electricity in less than 10 years.

Earlier, according to Muloni, the government had a plan to power about 547 sub-counties, with special focus on economic zones, schools, trading centers and health facilities.

Under the new plan, households will also be connected to the national grid free of charge and only pay for the power they would have used.

Access to power in Uganda currently stands at 22 percent, and the government wants to achieve 60 percent access in the next 10 years.

Construction of two hydropower plants financed by China are on the verge of being completed to bolster power access.

An extra 783 MW will be generated on completion of the 600 MW Karuma Hydropower Plant and 183 MW from Isimba Hydropower Plant.

Uganda’s current power generation and installed capacity is estimated at 930 MW, according to government figures.



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