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Uganda begins construction of 3.5-MW Paidha

West Nile Rural Electrification Co. (WENRECo) has begun construction of the 3.5-MW Paidha hydroelectric project on the Nyagak River in Uganda's West Nile Region.

The government announced the beginning of construction August 16, noting President Yoweri Museveni was on hand for the launching with other dignitaries at Nebbi.

The 15.4 billion shilling (US$8.5 million) project includes construction of a 1-kilometer 33-kilovolt transmission line to serve Nebbi, Arua, and Koboko.

Permanent Secretary Kabagambe Kaliisa of Uganda's Energy Ministry said the project is a public-private partnership of the government and WENRECo, which is owned by Industrial Promotion Services (Kenya) Ltd. (IPS). IPS, an affiliate of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, is one of the entities that revived development of the 250-MW Bujagali Falls project on Uganda's Victoria Nile River.

Executive Director Godfrey Turyahikayo of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) said Paidha is the first hydro project to be implemented by REA under its rural electrification program. Calling power a key factor for development, Turyahikayo said more investors are expected to come into the region when the project is completed in 18 months.

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