Government has unveiled a plan to increase the number of electricity connections from an average of 80,000 to 300,000 annually.
This is expected to be implemented through the Electricity Connections Policy (ECP). ECP’s objective aims at increasing the national access rate of electricity from 26 per cent to 60 per cent by 2027.
The ECP project manager at Umeme, Ms Stella Nkini Ndiwalana, said the company will quicken connections to meet the government target of 300, 000 connections per year.
“We cannot install metres before the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) tests and certifies them,” Ms Ndiwalana, said on Monday in Masaka District during an engagement with security officers and political leaders.
“We have requested UNBS to test and release 5, 000 metres per week. That will give us 20, 000 per month, which will help us clear the backlog,” she said.
Statistics at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development indicates that at least 160, 000 Ugandans have been connected to the national power grid between November 2018 and August 30, 2019.
Of the 160, 000, a total of 130, 000 connections were made by the main electricity distributor, Umeme Company Ltd.
The balance (about 30, 000) were connected by seven other power distributors, among which is the Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Ltd that operates in different parts of Uganda.
Records at Umeme show that at least 80, 000 applicants are pending while the number of metres Umeme has in stock are more than 100, 000.
Mr David Birungi, the Umeme stakeholders’ manager, said their target is to connect an extra 130,000 people by December.
She said individuals who applied first will be given first priority.
In Masaka sub-region, an estimated 20, 634 families are expected to get connected to the national grid under a project funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development at a tune of Shs555.5b.
Under this project, families will be connected to electricity power lines at no cost.