Certified Electricians Fundamental for Attainment of Uganda’s Electrification Agenda
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By Diana Naisuna Nambi
The media has severally reported cases of electrocution of children and adults alike in various parts of the Country, often attributed to illegal or poorly done Electrical Installations. Uganda presently has slightly over 2,700 Certified Electricians who have been duly authorized by the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) to install Electrical wiring on premises, as provided for by Section 88 of the Electricity Act, 1999.
With the growing Electricity Generation Capacity, expected to reach 1854.2 MW early next year when the 600 MW Karuma Hydropower Project is commissioned; and the ongoing countrywide Electricity connections under the Electricity Connections Policy launched in November 2018, the Country requires up to 4,000 Certified Electricians to fully support the Electrification Agenda.
The current shortage of tested and Certified Electricians is indeed a problem for the Electricity Supply Industry. But the bigger problem is that a large section of the public is not aware of the obligation to use tested and Certified Electricians to undertake Electrical installations for their premises. In order to deal with these problems, the Electricity Regulatory Authority with funding from the World Bank is undertaking two related critical activities under the #PawaKapo campaign, which was launched by the Minister for Energy and Mineral Development in November 2019.
- Training and Certification of persons who have had formal education in Electrical installation (with ATLEAST Craft Certificate Part II) but do NOT possess adequate practical experience that would be necessary to get Certification and own a Wiring Permit issued by ERA for purposes of wiring homes and commercial establishments (Permit Classes D and C, respectively).
- Sensitization of Electricity Consumers and the public on the requirement to enlist the services of Certified Electricians while undertaking electrical installations at home, in offices, factories, and other premises.
The implementation of the aforementioned activities under the #PawaKapo campaign supports the Government of Uganda’s aspiration to increase Access to Electricity to a rate of 60% by the year 2040. It also presents major opportunities for existing (but UnCertified) and prospective Electricians to register for the Free Training on Electrical Installations.
This training is aimed at enabling installation Electricians to upgrade their skills prior to obtaining Certification by the Electricity Regulatory Authority. While ERA ordinarily issues Electricity Installation Permits for Classes A, B, C, D, Z, and X, the PawaKapo training targets beneficiaries who are interested in wiring homes and commercial establishments (holders of Permit Class D and C).
The training will be conducted using demonstration cubicles at select Technical Institutes in Uganda, which are collaborating with ERA on the #PawaKapo campaign. These are: Nakawa Vocational Training Institute (Kampala); Uganda Technical College (Lira); Rukungiri Technical Institute (Rukungiri); Uganda Technical College (Bushenyi); Arua Technical Institute (Arua); Uganda Technical College Elgon (Mbale); and Uganda Technical College Kyema (Masindi).
A Certified Electrician enjoys numerous benefits, most notable of which is effortlessly earning the trust of their clients to do Safe and Reliable Electrical installations. This gives him or her an edge over Kamyufus whose space is narrowing further with this campaign; and protects the former from punitive action in form of fines or imprisonment, as stipulated by Section 88 of the Electricity Act.
For the Electricity Consumers and the public, the training will increase the pool of PawaKapos (Electricians) that are available to undertake Legal, Safe and Quality Electrical Installations. With the existence of an updated database of all the Certified Electricians across Uganda, ERA can get you connected with the authorized Electricians to ensure the Safety of your Life and Property, which is paramount. Choose Safety. Forget the Kamyufu! Look out for a #PawaKapo within your vicinity!
The Writer is the Principal Communications Officer at the Electricity Regulatory Authority.