Karuma Power Project Works Begin As Experts Meet Community

4348 Views Karuma, Uganda
A series of activities intended to pave way for the eventual construction of a power station at Karuma falls have begun, with the sensitization of the communities along the planned connection lines. A team of environmental consultants, from Air Water and Earth Limited have been meeting with the communities in villages neighboring Karuma falls where the construction is expected to take place. The firm was contracted by Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited, to conduct the socio environmental impact assessment and resettlement plans for the families that will be affected by the planned interconnection lines. Engineer Lamec Kajubi, the Chief Executive Officer of Air Water and Earth Limited, says the team is sensitizing the community about the planned land surveys, valuations, compensation and benefits of the power generation. He explained that presently, the team is mainly targeting the community settled along the planned high voltage connection line between Karuma and Kawanda power sub station. Other low voltage lines are set to be connected between Karuma to Lira, Olwiyo, Pakwach, Rhino Camp in Arua and Olwiyo to Gulu. Meanwhile, Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation, an engineering firm has also been hired by Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited to conduct the engineering designs of the planned interconnection power lines. The lines include a 400kv double circuit power line from Karuma to Kawanda sub station, 132kv double circuit power line from Karma to existing Lira sub station, 132kv line from Karuma to proposed Olwiyo sub station, a new 33kv line from Olwiyo to Pakwach and Rhino Camp in Arua. The Others are a new 33kv power line from Olwiyo to Gulu. Severino Opio, chairman of the elders at Karuma trading centre says that the residents have been in a series of meetings with surveyors, evaluators, and engineers. He says that over 200 families resident in villages surrounding Karuma falls will be affected by the construction of the power station. He however hopes that the resettlement of the families would go smoothly one they are compensated although he noted that there were issues of land conflict among some families that he feared could delay the process. If Completed, the 1.2 billion dollar Karuma power project is expected to generate 750 Mega watts, the single highest power generation capacity in Uganda. Earlier attempts to construct the plant failed after NORPAK, the original proposed developer pulled out of the deal.