Power company UMEME's decision to focus on Eastern Uganda appears to have paid off.
The company on Thursday announced that power losses in the region have dropped.
“The region alone registered up to 60% energy losses in 2016, but this dropped to 45% in 2017. The 60% of the losses are categorized into 45% commercial losses (power theft) and 15% technical losses,” Paul Ssempira, the Umeme Mbale district manager said.
Sempira also notes that there has been a 30% increase in the number of new connections to 8,431 in 2017 from 3,541 in 2016.
Illegal connections in the sub-region cost Umeme an estimate of sh20b annually and this is down to 15 billion shillings after the utility intensified its operations against illegal users and vandals.
Speaking during the opening of a new service centre in Pallisa town located on NYM Building on Outa Road, UMEME's Managing Director Selestino Babungi commended the government for investing in electricity generation and said his company's service strategy has always been focused on process simplification and investment to improve network performance.
He also disclosed that more services centres will be opened in Kapchorwa, Sironko, Bubulo and Kumi as part of the company’s grand plan to bring services closer to the customers.
The Umeme office in Mbale that has existed for 63 years has previously served 15 political districts, including Mbale Municipality, Pallisa, Budaka, Bulambuli, Bukedea, Kumi, Kapchorwa, Bubulo, Manafwaa and Sironko among others.
“We have 37 service centres across the country, but some of them stretch over a radius of up to 80km, which makes it difficult for our customers to access some of the services. The opening up of several satellite offices will bridge this gap,” Babungi said.