Northern Region Power Blackout Stretches To A Week

1758 Views Gulu, Uganda

In short
The region has not had power since Sunday due to a technical fault at Opuyo sub-station, near Soroti town. The affected districts are Soroti, Lira, Katawki, Apac, Serere, Kumi, Bukedea and Nwoya.

A breakdown at Opuyo power sub-station in Soroti has plunged the entire northern region into darkness.

The region has not had power since Sunday due to a technical fault at Opuyo sub-station, near Soroti town. The affected districts are Soroti, Lira, Katawki, Apac, Serere, Kumi, Bukedea and Nwoya.

Umeme, in a statement issued today, states that its engineers are working round the clock to rectify the problem. The statement does not specify the exact problem that has led to the blackout.

The extended blackout is costing businesses millions of shillings in lost revenue. Operators of businesses that deal in soft drinks, perishable foods and saloons are the most affected. Those who cannot afford generators have closed shop.

Many local artisans who depend on power for welding door frames and other metals are also haemorrhaging money.

Leslie Nyeko, the proprietor of Star Metal Works in Gulu town, says that his business is losing at least 800,000 shillings a day. He has to spend 50,000 shillings on each of the 15 men who work for him. With the blackout, he is finding it difficult to keep his 15 man team sufficiently employed.  

He finds that the blackout means he cannot meet the demand of his customers.

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The current power blackout adds to the misery of the people of Gulu who in the last four months have experienced power outages sometimes lasting up to three days.

Umeme has in the past claimed that the outages are due to the repair works being done on the Tororo-Gulu power line.

The power company had promised uninterrupted power supply to Gulu effective this month. The promise is yet to materialize as power outages have continued.