The Rural Electrification agency has handed over the management and distribution of electricity in three service territories formerly managed by Ferdsult Engineering Services Ltd (FESL) to Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL).
The service territories are South Western, Southern and North Western spread throughout twenty administrative districts of Uganda with a combined customer base of 24000, majority of which are rural domestic consumers.
FESL who have been managing the power distribution business in these service territories for nearly 10 years voluntarily relinquished the business citing a multitude of challenges encountered in operations and delivery of service.
The Electricity Regulatory Authority together with the Rural Electrification Agency nominated UEDCL to take over the management of these service territories and on March 1st 2017 UEDCL effectively took over this responsibility.
At a handover ceremony held at Kyenjojo Mr Frankline Oidu Kizito the Chief Technical Officer of UEDCL assured customers in the respective services territories that quality of service will tremendously improve. This was in reply to the numerous complaints of frequent power outages and poor service delivery attributed to the outgoing operator by the customers and district leadership.
Mr. Oidu further stated that well run state companies like UEDCL can foster growth and development since they are not primarily driven by high profits.
The handover ceremony at Kyenjojo
A detailed evaluation by the joint sectoral teams has revealed the immense growth potential in these new territories both from domestic consumers as well as small scale business customers.
Investment in revamping the network in most areas is critical since as pointed out by the evaluation teams most network assets are in a poor state.
Kayonza tea factory is the biggest customer in all UEDCL service territories
UEDCL has gained good experience in managing rural distribution networks and was already operating in five other territories mainly in eastern and northern Uganda.
In these areas, a modern prepaid metering system is critical for customer account management
Partnership with major telecom companies on e-payment for energy has given rural energy consumers great ease in managing their energy consumption and payments. This is one of the many changes that are planned to be rolled out to the new service territories in a bid to transform them into commercially viable entities.
Former FESL employees now happily working for UEDCL
UEDCL is mandated to maintain a state of readiness to takeover power distribution business from any operator whose license is revoked or voluntary relinquished.