West Nile Electrification Project Nears Completion, Tallest Transmission Tower completed ,

West Nile Electrification Project Nears Completion, Tallest Transmission Tower completed ,

From Solomon Muyita, Principal Communications & PR Officer, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development

Soaring 120 meters above the ground, this colossal structure is not just a feat of engineering but a symbol of hope and progress for the West Nile region. For years, the region has suffered from an unreliable power supply, but this project promises to change the situation.

Co-financed by the World Bank and the Ugandan government for 100 million U.S. dollars, the ambitious project aims to integrate the West Nile region into the national grid, delivering over 200 megawatts of power. This stable supply will benefit thousands of households and businesses, opening up new economic opportunities.

“This tower, standing tall at the banks of the River Nile, is more than just infrastructure; it’s a bridge to a brighter, more stable future for the people of West Nile,” stated Irene Bateebe, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.

With the project’s completion in sight, the West Nile region stands on the brink of a transformative era. Eng. Abdon Atwine, Commissioner of the Rural Electrification Department at the Ministry, shared the project’s progress:

“We are at 96 per cent completion, with only minor tasks remaining. The dedication and hard work of our teams have been instrumental in reaching this stage, bringing us closer to realising our vision of a fully electrified West Nile. We’ve made remarkable progress, with 895 out of 897 tower foundations completed, 886 out of 897 towers erected, and 230km out of 289km of transmission lines strung.”

The construction of the River Nile crossing towers is a highlight of the project. The eastern bank tower, now completed, and its counterpart on the western bank, currently under construction, are designed to span the vast stretch of the river without any mid-river supports. This maintains the natural beauty of the Nile and ensures safe passage for wildlife.

“Erecting these towers was a significant challenge, requiring deep foundational work and meticulous planning. The successful completion of the eastern tower is a testament to our commitment and capability,” Bateebe added.

This project began on July 17, 2017, and has involved laying a transmission line from Kole through Gulu, Olwiyo, and Nebbi to Arua and constructing substations in critical locations. Contractors KEC International of India and AVIC International of China have been pivotal in driving this initiative forward.

As the project nears its final phase, anticipation grows among the residents of West Nile. The completion of the western tower at Pakwach will mark the final milestone, setting the stage for the region’s electrification.

“Once the Pakwach tower is completed, it will signify the culmination of years of effort. West Nile’s connection to the grid will herald a new era of development and prosperity for the region,” Atwine remarked.

With land challenges resolved and the project on the verge of completion, the future looks bright for West Nile. The towering achievements of this electrification project, supervised by the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (UETCL), are a beacon of Uganda’s commitment to advancing its infrastructure and improving the lives of its citizens.