Unique High School
During our stay in Rubirizi, we also got to play in a students vs. teachers football game with Unique High School. We played terribly of course (perhaps with the exception of Daniel) but the students were kind enough to let us get away with a 3-3 tie.
Afterwards, the students danced and sang for us, and it was simply incredible. We really enjoyed getting to know them, and were amazed by their talents.
We would like to thank Sander for introducing us to the school, and for giving us the opportunity to share our work with the students there.
On Tuesday, we went to the offices of Uganda Electricity Distribution Company, who are a government body in charge of running the generator which feeds the mini-grid currently on the island. We talked with Amos, who is the manager there and shared with us their experiences from the past as well as their plans for the future.
The generator is currently running on diesel, and was already there when the company took over the electricity distribution 6 years ago. They are now having a lot of problems with the poor performance of the generator, which makes the electricity supply unreliable, even though you may be connected to the grid. Their intent is to supply 15 hours of electricity per day, but right now they are barely able to cope with 5 hours (between 6 pm and 11 pm)
They will be installing a second generator, which they are now trying to assemble with parts coming in from the mainland. Amos also informed us of the government’s plans to connect the islands to the mainland grid within the next years, via an underwater power line. He reported a lot of problems with subscriptions. Many people do not have a regular income, and therefore are not connected at all. Those which can be connected are reluctant to pay, and often the company is forced to cut off their power in order to receive any money at all. Banking is also not common among villagers, making transactions even more difficult.
We also learnt something quite shocking about the island (no pun intended) The particular composition of the soil on the island does not conduct electricity well. This creates a problem during thunderstorms - when lightning strikes, the electricity cannot pass through the soil and therefore stays on the ground. This is not only harmful for the electrical equipment, but obviously also for the inhabitants of the island.
Yesterday morning we were up at 6 and had to navigate our way through the Kampala traffic (thank god for bodas) for an important appointment at the Dutch Embassy.
We were kindly received by Charles Drazu, a Senior Policy Officer, who shared with us his experiences and knowledge on agriculture and energy.
We talked about energy and entrepreneurship in Uganda, and were able to gain valuable insights regarding electrification and the spread of renewable energies.