A Land Owner identified as Mr. Asiraf Owor demanding 500m unpaid compensation has blocked the construction of the 400kv Karuma-Kawanda powerline.
On Tuesday drama ensued in Kiryadongo after the Kiryandongo District security team went to Bedmot Village in Mutunda Sub-county to address the misunderstanding between Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) and Mr. Asiraf Owor, the owner of a nine-acre Eucalyptus woodlot who had blocked UETCL from cutting down his trees without compensation.
The RDC Kiryadongo revealed that despite the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy requesting his office to address the matter, there have been recurring issues not only in Kiryandongo but in Oyam, Nwoya and other districts up to Kawanda
Mr. Owor noted that he was not ready to ready to let UETCL cut down his trees unless they revised the compensation off of shs. 26m for 2000 trees to Shs. 600m.
“They must pay me Shs600m. What they came with initially made me feel they were bullying me because I spent more than Shs300m on buying the land and putting up those trees eight years ago,” Mr. Owor said.
According to the Government valuer, he noted that the results of the tabulations would be released in less than 2 days adding that the President will be commissioning the Project in June so there will swift operations to ensure that Owor is fairly compensated.
Reports from UETCL indicate that the transmission line developer Kalpatura Power Transmission Ltd is currently stuck with over 22 towers unbuilt due to misunderstandings with the landowners but Officials claim Shs.123b was set aside in the resettlement action plan to compensate or resettle project affected persons but the power transmission company has been entangled in several land disputes and absentee landlords, especially in the districts of Lira and Nakasongola.
The Karuma –Kawanda project also known as the Karuma–Juba High Voltage Power Line is a planned high voltage electricity power line, connecting the high voltage substation at Karuma, in Kiryandongo District, in the Western Region of Uganda, to another high voltage substation at Juba, in Jubek State, in South Sudan. This power line is planned to transmit electricity from the 600 megawatts Karuma Hydroelectric Power Station in Uganda, to Juba in South Sudan. It is part of the regional power-sharing protocols of the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program and of the East African Community. Uganda plans to sell electricity to neighboring countries, including South Sudan after Karuma Hydroelectric Power Station and Isimba Hydroelectric Power Station become operational