Businesses in Kabale municipality have been hit hard by power outages which have affected the district for the last three weeks. The hardest hit are the small scale business owners who say that the power outages which at times last for three days are crippling their businesses.
The most affected are small scale business owners who say that the power outages, which at times last three days, are crippling their businesses.
Latif Khalid, who owns Latif Millers in Kabale municipality, told our reporter that the power outages cost him 500,000 shillings on a daily basis as he has to pay workers who are not producing anything.
He says that the power, which is always switched on by Umeme in the wee hours of the night, does not stay for more than three hours and usually comes when the workers have already gone to sleep.
Prosper Tumusiime of Prosper Investments dealing in stationary and computer accessories reports that he has failed to do the work given to him by his customers because the power outages sometimes last for as many as three days. He is unable to work during that time.
Arnold Muhereza, who operates a secretarial bureau in Kigongi ward, is on the brink of closing his business because it has become too expensive for him to meet the costs of using a generator.
The unreliable electricity supply has affected all sectors. Fyne Ayebazibwe, a resident of Kabale town, is bitter because the power outages have destroyed her television set among other electronics in her house.
She is especially unhappy that while UMEME keeps on posting announcements on local radio stations that the blackouts will last a few hours, they last for days.
//Cue in: first of all….
Cue out:…two important things:”//
Water supply in the town has also been affected with piped water now scarce. Many have been forced to resort to protected springs and rivers whose water is not safe for consumption.
Those who are unable to fetch water for themselves spend between 500 -700 shillings to get 20 litres of water.
Paul Mwavu , the Kabale National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) branch manager, told Uganda Radio Network that they are now finding it very difficult to pump water to people’s homes. He explains that they need two days of uninterrupted power supply to be able to pump water and fill their reservoir tank before they can send water to the communities.
NWSC pumps water from Lake Bunyonyi to Makanga hill where the reservoir is and starts distributing it to an estimated population of 60,000 people, who rely on its services.
Kabale Umeme branch manager Joseph Karugonjo pleads for patience because Umeme is in the process of replacing the old poles thus the power outages.