Electricity transmitter, UETCL has said that the national power outage experienced on Wednesday afternoon was due to faults on the emergency transmission lines which replaced the recently vandalized infrastructure.
On the night of September 13, Uganda experienced a widespread power blackout causing an uproar on social media. Electricity went off in Kampala went off in Kampala and other parts of the country.
UETCL, the government agency responsible for transmitting electricity came out to clarify that the problem was due to vandalism. Atleast 5 towers that carry transmission lines from Jinja to Kampala were brought down by unknown persons, at Mbalala in Mukono district.
This route carries as much as 150MWs of electricity.
Today, Kampala and other parts of Kampala experienced a similar power outage at around 11am.
UMEME, the entity responsible for distributing electricity said the outage was of national scale but that it was working with UETCL to establish the fault.
Pamela Byoruganda, the Communications Officer at Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (UETCL) told SoftPower News that Wednesday’s outage had to do with the recent vandalism.
“We installed emergency towers to be running as we try to restore the full right line. So, we have been running on the emergency power line. Now, there is a fault on the emergency line, meaning we can’t evacuate electricity at the moment,” Byoruganda said.
She said that as opposed to the main power lines which are made of steel, most of the emergency towers which were recently installed are made of timber.
“It could be an over load. We are still doing diagnostics. From there, we can know what exactly the problem is,” she added.
The teams were working to restore the power using other lines, she said.
She said that the Mukono route evacuates power from both Owen Falls and Bujagali dams to the Lugogo station in Kampala from where distribution is done.
“When it goes down, it means we can not balance the demand and supply. And if we can’t balance that, demand becomes heavier than supply, then the system gets overloaded which subsequently leads to a shut down,” she said.
When this occurs, UETCL instructs the distributor (UMEME) to start load shedding until there is enough power to balance demand and supply. The lines are then restored in phases.
By publication time, power had been restored in some parts of Kampala.
UMEME tweeted: “Dear valued customers, power has been restored in most parts. For those that are still experiencing the outage, kindly note that we are still working to ensure restoration. We deeply regret the inconveniences this has caused”.
Recently, Minister for Energy, Eng Irene Muloni condemned “selfish” Ugandans who vandalise the electricity infrastructure, and called for amendments in the law so that stronger penalties (for those culpable) are introduced.
The Minister said that government loses a sum of Shs 1.5 billion every year in acts of vandalism of electricity infrastructure.
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