Gov't launches free electricity access project in Teso

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Gov't launches free electricity access project in Teso
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The EASP, backed by a substantial $638 million from the World Bank, is a five-year project aimed at bolstering electricity accessibility. It is being jointly executed by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and the Uganda Energy Credit Capitalization Company (UECCC).

The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Ruth Nankabirwa, has inaugurated the Free Electricity Access Scale Up Project (EASP) for the Teso sub-region.

The initiative signals a significant stride toward improving energy accessibility in rural areas and disadvantaged communities.

The EASP, backed by a substantial $638 million (about Shs2.5 trillion) from the World Bank, is a five-year project aimed at bolstering electricity accessibility. It is being jointly executed by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and the Uganda Energy Credit Capitalization Company (UECCC).

The primary objective of the project is to extend electricity access to households, commercial and industrial users, public institutions in rural areas, refugee settlements, and peri-urban areas, employing a mix of on-grid and off-grid solutions.

Minister Nankabirwa, who represented Vice-President Jessica Alupo, stressed the importance of prioritizing areas with existing infrastructure but lacking electricity, urging local council leaders (LC5) to identify such areas for free connection while ensuring the maintenance of existing connections.

"You look for any place with poles and not connected, we will take that as priority first," she said.

The minister also cautioned against fraudulent individuals seeking payment for electricity connections and urged the public to remain vigilant against such scams.

"Be careful, there are always unscrupulous person out there, they will come and con you. Connecting your power is free after you have wired your house," she said.

The overarching goal of the project is to achieve universal access to electricity in Uganda by 2030. Currently, over one million people and 128,000 customers in rural areas have been connected, marking a significant milestone towards realizing this ambition.

Local residents and beneficiaries in the district welcomed the initiative, citing how access to electricity will spur local development activities.

District leaders across the region commended the government for prioritizing electricity access in rural villages, recognizing its transformative potential.

Addressing concerns about oil and mineral speculation in the region, Minister Nankabirwa reassured locals that the government will not exploit resources without consultation, affirming its commitment to inclusive decision-making and responsible resource exploitation.

The government's dedication to expanding electricity access and ensuring responsible resource exploitation underscores its commitment to fostering development and prosperity in Uganda's rural communities.

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