The Chief Executive Officer-Electricity Regulatory Authority Eng. Ziria Waako Tibalwa has challenged power service provider-Umeme Ltd and others in the industry to ensure that safety measures are put in place to enable power users enjoy the utility.
According to Ziria, cases of electrocutions have become a common phenomenon which Umeme Ltd needs to address.
“We don’t want anybody to die of electricity regardless of whether he’s illegally using power. We should put mitigants to ensure that electricity users enjoy use of electrons safely” she told a meeting organised by ERA for a public input on the applications for tariff review by utility companies including UEGCL, UETCL, UEDCL, Umeme Ltd and Eskom Uganda Ltd.
Meanwhile, Umeme Ltd’s Chief Corporate and Regulatory Officer Mushabo said as a company, they too, are concerned about such cases but however, added that Umeme Ltd has embarked on a program of addressing this issue by way of investing in protected wires.
“We don’t want to see any Ugandan die. These are our brothers and sisters. Every life to us matters a lot. We care about people’s lives. That’s why we’re trying to change and as we talk, we have secured 80000 meters of plastic lines” he said.
ELECTRIC FATALITIES AT A GLANCE
In the recent past, cases of electrocutions have become rampant. In Soroti for example, four brothers were electrocuted at Awoja village late last month. These were however, alleged to be electricity infrastructure vandals, although some were said to be minors.
The previous month of October, also saw a man being electrocuted at Kayunga town Council. He was also said to be a Umeme Ltd impositor. In Nsangi, three family members were also electrocuted this year. Research indicates that children are at more risk from domestic electrocution.
According to Global Press Journal in a report made in 2017, it showed that in Eastern Uganda alone, 50 people were being electrocuted weekly as people tried to tap onto power lines to get electricity illegally. The situation therefore, calls for greater awareness and electrical safety measures being deployed on the network as Eng. Ziria is advocating.