Kalangala Power Tariffs Under Scrutiny Amid Islander Outcry

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The government, represented by the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), is preparing to reexamine the power tariffs set for electricity supplied by Kalangala Infrastructural Services (KIS) on Buggala Island in Kalangala District. This move coincides with the ongoing process of integrating Kalangala into the national power grid, facilitated by the installation of a 6km submarine power cable beneath Lake Victoria, linking Bukakkata on the mainland to Bugoma on Kalangala Island.

Currently, the government is in the process of constructing two switching stations—one in Bukakkata and another in Bugoma. Andrew Kilama Lajul, the managing director of KIS, has confirmed that discussions are ongoing to establish new tariffs, which will be disclosed before the year’s end.

Residents on Buggala Island have long complained about the disproportionately high power tariffs they are subject to, unlike their mainland counterparts. Lisbet Komujuni, a senior legal officer from ERA, highlighted that power theft significantly impacts the cost per unit of electricity. Power generation on the island primarily relies on costly fuel during nighttime hours from 7 pm to 7 am. However, the excess generated power remains unutilized, resulting in damage to equipment and commercial losses.

KIS reportedly incurs annual expenses exceeding Shs5 billion for electricity production on Buggala, a financial burden that has not yielded any profits due to the island’s lower number of consumers. The unstable power supply has also deterred investors, with at least five businesses, including a maize mill, a rice mill, and a government ice plant, forced to shut down operations in the district. According to Rajab Semakula, the district chairperson, these power-related issues have led to economic setbacks in Kalangala.

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