The Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) on Tuesday held the first ever “Annual WireMen’s Conference for electricity connection persons and utility companies with the aim of improving service delivery in the energy sector.
Held under the theme ‘Promoting the Electricity Agenda by enhancing safe and reliable electricity installations” the conference that took place at UMA Show Ground saw over 500 electricity servicemen from all over the country sensitized on new guidelines for installations, standards and general good practices and the repercussions for not following those guidelines.
The ERA executive director Ziria Tabalwa Waako in her opening remarks said the sensitization is geared towards achieving safe electricity connectivity for all Ugandans by 2040.
“Our target as a country is to connect 303000 Ugandans onto electricity per year through the National Electrification Strategy. Wiremen and Utility companies are part of this strategy as they will be the ones doing installation. So this conference is timely and very necessary” she said.
So far Uganda has more than 1800 licensed installation persons. However according to the ED, this number is too small compared to what the national targets are.
Mrs Tabalwa also announced that a list of licensed wiremen with their pictures will be published and distributed nationwide so that the citizens know who to deal with in terms of installations.
“We have already started undertaking the campaign of free electricity connection. Ugandans are only expected to pay an installation fee of about Shs 20000 – 40000 depending on the location and utility provider. We expect the service men to adhere by this price and not to over change or ask for bribes from the customers. The punishment will be severe including revocation of licenses” she said
According to Tabalwa, ERA has been receiving complaints from the public including incomplete installations, seeking for bribes by utilities, over charging, extortion and many others which are undermining the government’s efforts to have all Ugandans connected to electricity
“We needed to meet them and earn them so that they know that it’s not going to be business as usual. We want best service deliveries or they risk losing their jobs” she said