West Nile in Power Outage Again

1471 Views Arua, Uganda
West Nile districts of Arua, Nebbi and Zombo have once again been plunged into darkness after West Nile Rural Electrification agency (WENRECO) declared an indefinite power black two days ago. Businesses and other power users have resorted to the expensive costs of running generators. Fabian Ahaisibwe, the regional manager of the Wenreco, says the power blackout follows a mechanical breakdown of an engine at their main thermal power plant located at Ewuata in Vurra County. He says the Air starter of the engine failed leading to the break down of the whole system. Ahaisibwe is not sure whether the power outage will come to an end soon because if the current air starter cannot be repaired in Kampala, the company will need procure new one from their supplier Ingersoll Rand International based in America. But this abrupt power blackout has affected office work and business units that rely on the power. Bernard Ayibo, manager of AB Internet café says the intermittent power supplies are causing severe effects on his business. //Cue in: "because of the intermittent..." Cue out...acting like bayayi."// Martha Tiko, has lost several gadgets such as computers and home theater equipments because of abrupt switch off of power by the company. She wants another company to take over business from WENRECO. //Cue in: "we have lost a lot..." Cue out...come and save us."// In Arua hospital, the situation is worse because the hospital does not even have standby generator. Bernard Odu, the medical superintendent says no surgical operations are being carried out due to power outages. But according to the manager of Wenreco the only power problem in West Nile will be solved when construction of the 1.5-mega watt power dam in Nebbi is completed. Construction of Nyagak power dam that is also going to be managed by WENRECO started some four years ago, but construction remains incomplete due to funding challenges and low capacity of the contractor.


About the author

Ronald Batre
Ronald Batre is so passionate about journalism that he did not wait to finish school before he started his career. This is how he started with Radio Paidha, The West Niler, Daily Monitor newspapers and later with Radio Pacis as Assistant News Editor.

To be allowed to practice his passion, Batre had struck a deal with his parents. He would complete his education. He kept his word and went through school while suporting himself with his journalism.

Entering the workplace so young attuned Batre to the plight of the youth and those who seek employment. Apart from that, he is interested in reporting about politics, local government, business and the environment. A witness to some of the destructive impact of the Lord's Resistance Army rebellion in northern Uganda, Batre is interested in reporting about peace building efforts too.

Uganda Radio Network's former Gulu bureau chief, Batre is now based in Kampala. He is URN's main politics correspondent. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.