West Nile Power: Nyagak Dam Completed, to be commissioned this Friday

2152 Views Zombo, Uganda
Nyagak hydropower dam in West Nile will be commissioned on Friday after over seven years of construction.
Matovu Bukenya, the head of communications in the energy ministry, says all necessary tests on the dam have been done successfully paving way for its commissioning.
President Yoweri Museveni is slated to commission the 3.5-megawatt dam that will supply electricity to most parts of West Nile, a region that has never tasted the luxury of reliable and clean power.
Bukenya says the current load on the dam is just 1.2 megawatt although it is expected to shoot to about 2 megawatts when suppressed demand clears out.
He says the next phase is now to extend power to more towns. Presently the dam serves the main towns of Arua, Nebbi and Paidha plus a few trading centres.
The major towns to get connected are Pakwach, Panyimur, Parombo, Zombo, Nyadri, Koboko, Oraba and Yumbe. Congolese towns of Mahagi and Aru have also applied to get connected.
The government plans to connect the districts of Moyo and Adjumani to the national grid via Gulu.
Excitement is reaching fever pitch in West Nile. Robert Okumu, the Nebbi Distrct chairman says commissioning of the dam overcomes reliable power as one of the challenges to the development of the region.
Kizito Kakura, the chairman of Zombo District where the dam is located, says the dam will play no role if the locals do not use it optimally and productively.
Construction of Nyagak Dam started in February 2006 and was to be completed in December of the same year. But the construction dragged on till the original contractor, Skoda Export of the Chech Republic and its sub-contractor Sobetra International were removed.
Government handed over the dam‘s civil works to Indian construction firm Spencon with the electro-mechanical works going to Sri Lankan firm VS Hydro.
The dam is a public-private partnership between the government and West Nile Rural Electrification Company (Wenreco), a subsidiary of the Aga Khan conglomerate.


About the author

David Rupiny
In his own words, David Rupiny says, "I am literally a self-trained journalist with over 12 years of experience. Add the formative, student days then I can trace my journalism roots to 1988 when as a fresher in Ordinary Level I used to report for The Giraffe News at St Aloysius College Nyapea in northern Uganda.

In addition to URN for which I have worked for five years now, I have had stints at Radio Paidha, Radio Pacis, Nile FM and KFM. I have also contributed stories for The Crusader, The New Vision and The Monitor. I have also been a contributor for international news organisations like the BBC and Institute for War and Peace Reporting. I am also a local stringer for Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

I am also a media entrepreneur. I founded The West Niler newspaper and now runs Rainbow Media Corporation (Rainbow Radio 88.2 FM in Nebbi). My areas of interest are conflict and peacebuilding, business, climate change, health and children and young people, among others."