With major sources of commercial energy in Uganda being hydro power, petroleum and biomass based energy, Up to 95 % of population use traditional solid fuels in residential sector for heating, light and cooking. (Source: Uganda & Renewable energy by FUAS)
In addition to above, the Electricity Act 1999 enabled private participation in the electricity sector, and established the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) as the energy regulator for the country. Uganda’s renewable energy policy published by the Ministry for Energy, Minerals and Development (MEMD) in 2007 goal is: “To increase the use of modern renewable energy, from the current 4% to 61% of the total energy consumption by the year 2017”. Its objectives include affordable and reliable energy services as a contribution to poverty eradication.
Since Uganda (Gulu inclusive) has an average of 5-6 kWh/m2/day of solar isolation, with an average of 8 sunshine hours per day, yearly, indicating an excellent potential for solar energy use. (Source: Uganda & Renewable energy by FUAS), on Saturday, 18 March 2017, BOSCO Uganda launched a 30 Kilowatts solar powered Energy at Pope John Paul II Collage- Laliya Parish, Bungatira Sub County, Gulu District with the theme ”working towards achieving sustainable energy through solar micro grid installation, wireless intranet and internet”. The 30 Kilowatts Solar Power was installed with funds from Accenture Foundation, South Africa and the University of Notre Dame, USA to BOSCO Uganda under it’s Project intervention Connectivity, Electricity and Education for Entrepreneurship (CE3). The technical installation work was done by Power Gen a Nairobi- Kenya based Company.
During the launch, Certificate of partnership were issued by the Chairman Board of Director BOSCO Uganda to Pope John Paul II Collage-Gulu, Notre Dame University- USA, Accenture Foundation, South Africa and BOSCO Staffs who worked hard on the project implementation respectively.
The launch attracted the District Officials both Political and Administrative wing like the Police representative, representative of NGOs from Gulu NGO FORUM, Insurance Company of East Africa (IECA), representative from Community and the general Public, Notre Dame University and Accenture Foundation representation as the funding agent, Directors from partners schools, teaching and Non-teaching staffs of PJPII Collage, BOSCO Staffs and Board Members whereby the Chairman Lawrence Too-Okema represented the Archbishop His Grace John Baptist Odama of Archdiocese of Gulu.
The 30 Kilowatts Solar power is meant to provide energy-specific industry knowledge and access to a broad network of energy-sector partners and applying renewable energy technology for local community Socio-economic development. In addition, it is to empower rural community to Envision and face a technology rich future that sustains heritage, strengthens human rights, and spawns web based-entrepreneurial efforts that improve the livelihood.
The school administration expressed gratitude to BOSCO Uganda for this Solar project that they had been praying for over a long period. He added that, with the solar power running full time, the daily expenditures of the school came down from 12 million Uganda Shillings to a monthly running cost of 3.3 million Uganda shillings. The solar Power has supported education of the students for various forms of learning like in the Computer laboratory, class rooms Blocks, Dormitories and as well for domestic use in Staffs Houses and office blocks respectively.
The Chairperson Local council III Bungatira Sub county made a remarks that, the Only school that local government of Bungatira is eyeing at and ever been eyeing at is PJPII Collage, and the school has been among the best performing school in the district and the Sub County at Large, therefore this Solar Powered Energy should add more value and moral towards academic excellence of the school. He further promised that the Students should use the facility well, including the teachers since there is Internet and intranet at the school for academic excellence. He finally Argue the students not to damage the facility since it’s of big value to them and whoever will tamper with it will be dealt with accordingly.
Hon. Lakidi Moses the Councilor V Bungatira who also represented the District Chairperson V Gulu District, made a remarkable communication that, the School Students, Parents and the District embraces and fully own the facility and it’s a collective responsibility for all to ensure that the facility is kept properly. He further ask the school administration and the students for no any excuses on Power shut down, the District will be in need of good students’ academic performance as usual and even more.
The chief guest at the event was His Grace John Baptist Odama who was represented by the Board chairman BOSCO Uganda.