Joint teams from the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries(MAAIF), Eskom and Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited have cleared a 1.5 acre floating island that had invaded Kira power station in Jinja.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary Pius Wakabi, the floating island was cited advancing towards the dam on Wednesday night, prompting teams to be on alert and take action.
“A Multi-sectoral technical team from MAAIF, ESKOM and UEGCL has been at work since then tracking and flushing the island through Kira Power Station which is now complete and at Bujagali , they shall do the same followed by Isimba power stations,”Wakabi said.
In April, a floating island of water hyacinth measuring about two acres blocked turbines at the Nalubaale dam causing a nationwide power blackout a few hours to President Museveni’s address to the country on Covid-19.
According to Eng. Ziliya Tibalwa, the CEO for Electricity Regulatory Authority, the land mass moved with vegetation and other debris that choked the turbines.
“The plantations ran into screens that are supposed to filter the water before it goes into turbines to generate power, and once screens were blocked by rubbish and other plantations, the turbines could not get enough water,” said Ziliya Tibalwa, the CEO for Electricity Regulatory Authority adding that the floating island moved with vegetation and other debris that choked the turbines.
Works to clear floating islands on the country’s water bodies undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture as the lead agency continue.
The Minister for Agriculture in charge of Fisheries, Hellen Adoa recently said government will continue working with other stakeholders to undertake surveillance and monitoring on Lakes Victoria and `Kyoga to ascertain the current abundance and distribution of weed mats with the aim of unblocking and dredging the lake.