Parliament’s Committee on Natural Resources has promised to intensify efforts to deepen water and electricity coverage in Mitooma district.
In a whirlwind tour that will take the legislators, led by Chairperson Dr Keefa Kiwanuka (NRM, Kiboga East), to Mitooma, Buhweju districts and surrounding areas, the MPs praised the progress of works and promised fast completion.
The Committee is inspecting the progress of rural electrification currently being undertaken by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) through contractors.
Kiwanuka set the pace by tasking sight managers from REA to explain delays in erecting poles and transmission lines.
“It is good that the REA people are here; they should explain to you when the poles will be up and when electricity will cover the entirety of this area,” said Kiwanuka.
The site managers gave assurances of six months, within which they said poles will be erected in the entire district and electricity will be supplied.
So far, the officials reported a coverage of over 160km.
Last week, the Committee quizzed sub-contractors, employed by TBEA, the company superintending the project implementation, on their readiness to deliver.
The sub-contractors said most of the works have commenced, but that they are being held back by stalled design approvals from TBEA.
According to REA area manager, Eng Edward Ochola, works are in progress and that their biggest challenge relates to the terrain, weather and availability of hardware.
Ochola told MPs they are on course to finish the project within the stipulated time.
Mr Gerald Karyeija, the embattled LC 5 Chairperson of Mitooma District who led locals in welcoming the legislators, made his plight known.
“Since Jesus was born ‘[sic] Mitooma has never accessed electricity; you have also come here at a time when we are sharing drinking water with frogs,” said Karyeija, who is battling impeachment by district councilors.
He tasked the Committee to expedite the opening of the mega fertilizer factories in Tororo, which he said could settle the controversial debate on GMOs.
Area MP Thomas Tayebwa (NRM, Ruhinda North), also a Member of the Committee, said electricity has been a major challenge in the area and that the MPs’ visit has given him relief.
“The people here need electricity, they need roads, they need water. If you didn’t come here in four wheel-drive cars, you wouldn’t have made it here,” he said.
Kiwanuka later led MPs in launching the first water project in one of the Sub-Counties.
He said the Committee will be stepping up efforts to ensure the fast delivery of rural electrification and water projects in the area.