Tensions ran high at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital intern hostels hall as UMEME officials faced a barrage of criticism from local stakeholders over the inconsistent power supply plaguing the district.
Prominent figures including tour operators, hoteliers, medics, industrialists, and security authorities voiced their concerns, accusing the power distributor of causing significant disruptions that have adversely affected businesses in the area.
“Businesses are grappling with additional costs as the erratic power supply forces reliance on generators,” stated stakeholders, highlighting the detrimental impact on the district’s economic development.
Health officials, Dr. Gilbert Arinaitwe Maateka and Dr. Esther Rutaremwa, emphasized the severe consequences of power issues on health facilities.
They revealed that vital equipment, including blood fridges, had become non-functional, leading to an oxygen shortage in health centers.
Kabale District Police Commander, Abel Ruganza, pointed out the link between inadequate lighting in Kabale town and an increase in the local crime rate.
In response, Paul Ssempira, UMEME’s head of Operations for western Uganda, attributed the power woes to trees encroaching on power lines, citing that 64% of outages were caused by transient faults within the main power lines.
However, stakeholders remained unconvinced, questioning UMEME’s commitment to customer care.
They proposed a meeting between UMEME and the Ministry of Energy to find a lasting solution to the persistent power outages.
Expressing concern, RDC Godfrey Nyakahuma warned of potential protests, emphasizing the possibility of security challenges arising from investor discontent.
UMEMEHe threatened decisive action if UMEME failed to comply with resolving the power issues.
Kabale district, located in South Western Uganda, grapples with regular power disruptions, experiencing over 10 instances of power fluctuations on an average day, with most blackouts lasting between 2 to 5 hours.
The community demands accountability as UMEME faces intensified scrutiny over the ongoing power challenges.