Yesterday, April 27, 2018 I was extremely surprised to read an article in the Daily Monitor that Umeme will soon be connecting thousands of rural households to the grid.
Extremely surprised because I am one of their rural clients so far connected after a long time of self denial saving money for the purpose.
Our experience on a number of villages is that Umeme does not have enough electric power to sell. For example for the last two or three months we have been getting intermittent blackouts every day and total blackout every evening. We use kerosene lamps and we have given up TV viewing, refrigerator use, electric flat iron etc.
I have personally written the company’s service center countless times seeking a solution to our problem but in vain.
Every evening our home is in darkness but we have a Umeme pole right in our compound. So let nobody out there celebrate yet that you are about to get electricity. Very likely you are only going to get poles and lines of wires.
But it is good to reflect a little about Umeme’s future likely difficulties. Down memory lane! Do you remember a time when telephone lines stood on poles along the roads and streets? Do you still see them?
Do we still phone colleagues near or far away? I am beginning to see rural households enjoying unlimited electricity supply without any poles just as I see people phoning without telephone poles and lines.
A major seminary in Masaka has electricity and no poles or lines. Many boarding schools are following suit. An entire village in Kisekka Sub-county, Lwengo District is enjoying piped water pumped by electricity that is not transmitted by lines and poles. So we are thinking and planning how to go around our electricity problem if Umeme goes on refusing to pay attention to our problem.