Waterweed island clogs Nalubaale Dam - National | NTV

Waterweed island clogs Nalubaale Dam

By JOSEPH TUMWESIGYE

Wednesday April 15, 2020

And island of water hyacinth and papyrus clogs water in-take valves of the Nalubaale dam 

A floating island of water hyacinth and papyrus has clogged and affected the cooling systems of the Nalubaale and Bujagali power plants causing a nationwide power blackout. The Uganda Electricity Generating Company Limited (UEGCL) says that the clogging by water weed islands started early on Tuesday morning.

According to the Public Relations Officer of the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) Pamela Byorugaba, authorities are working to fix Isimba dam as a temporary source to supply the nation. However, Ms Byorugaba says that Isimba dam may not be enough to supply the nation.

“It (Isimba) may not be enough because right now, our demand is at 500 Megawatts and Isimba only produces 183 megawatts”, Ms Byorugaba says.

Authorities from the Ministry of Works have been contacted by the UEGCL, UETCL and Ministry of Energy to help with unclogging the intake valves of the two affected dams.

“Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of works are working together to break down the island and make sure normal water flow is restored”, says Ms Byorugaba.

Water weeds have always been a major problem for the Nalubaale Dam which has served Uganda electricity since 1954. The hyacinth which usually flows with the water is majorly found concentrated around Nalubaale dam. Over the years, this water hyacinth has affected the production of electricity.

In January, a report by an independent engineer, Hatch Limited that was contracted by Eskom Uganda Limited, Nalubale-Kiira dam complex was producing electricity way below its capacity.

Eskom Uganda Limited and The UEGCL in conjunction with the Ministry of Energy have created procedures to manage this problem over the years.

The UEGCL did not give a timeline on when full power will be restored.