West Nile power crisis has deepened with local electricity suppliers, Wenreco, now load shedding several places in addition to the eight-hour power rationing occasioned by fuel scarcity. Rajab Swalleh, the regional manager, says power rationing and load shedding will continue until they get stable supply of heavy diesel from Kenya. The West Nile power concessionaire now supplies power for eight hours from late afternoon, down from 20 hours previously. Swalleh says their 1.5-megawatt generator uses over five thousand litres of heavy diesel daily, adding that they cannot sustain supplying power on a 20-hour basis. He says even during the eight-hour supply the generator gets overloaded by consumers that is why they have to load shed certain places. The cut in power supply has sent several businesses tumbling especially in Arua, Nebbi and Paidha towns. Meanwhile, Wenreco has come under vicious attack from consumers who accuse it of double charges. The latest bills include losses the power supplier claims it has incurred and which have been distributed on all consumers to cover. Consumers complain that even after they pay up for the losses Wenreco goes ahead and recovers the losses from defaulters to their exclusive benefit. Swalleh says the under collection charges is a necessary evil otherwise they would be out of business, especially during the current fuel crisis. He says the charge would be dropped once Nyagak mini hydropower plant becomes operational later this year.
Updated: 23 Nov, 22:4022:40
About the author
In addition to URN for which I have worked for five years now, I have had stints at Radio Paidha, Radio Pacis, Nile FM and KFM. I have also contributed stories for The Crusader, The New Vision and The Monitor. I have also been a contributor for international news organisations like the BBC and Institute for War and Peace Reporting. I am also a local stringer for Radio Netherlands Worldwide.
I am also a media entrepreneur. I founded The West Niler newspaper and now runs Rainbow Media Corporation (Rainbow Radio 88.2 FM in Nebbi). My areas of interest are conflict and peacebuilding, business, climate change, health and children and young people, among others."