Photo by Harman Ebalu

Dokolo Residents Plan Peaceful Demonstration Over Persistent Power Blackouts

Dokolo. The residents of Dokolo are set to stage a peaceful demonstration on Monday, 3 June 2024, to protest against the ongoing power blackouts that have severely disrupted daily life and business activities in the area.

Hon. Christopher Odwe, the male Councilor representing workers to the District Council, has voiced the community’s frustrations, stating that the constant power outages have negatively impacted businesses, increased crime rates, and disturbed the town’s peace. He is demanding clear answers from the manager in charge of the Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL) Dokolo Branch regarding the frequent power cuts.

“Enough is enough. We have to charge our phones and cook at certain times,” Odwe told LBS Newsday. “At the district, we are running on generators. I call upon the police, the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), and all businessmen to join us in a peaceful demonstration.

“Business owners in Dokolo district have expressed growing frustration over the persistent power blackouts, which have severely disrupted economic activities and led to significant financial losses. The prolonged and frequent power cuts have not only hampered daily operations but also pushed the community to the brink of protest.

For weeks, Dokolo has faced unreliable electricity supply, with power outages occurring without warning and often lasting for hours or even days. Local businesses, ranging from small retail shops to large enterprises, have borne the brunt of these disruptions. The lack of electricity has led to the decay of perishable goods, interrupted production processes, and a decline in customer numbers, as residents increasingly seek services outside the district where the power supply is more stable.

Phillips Okello, a bar owner, voiced his concerns: “Every day without power is a day of loss. Our fridges can’t keep drinks cold, and customers are going elsewhere. If this continues, we won’t survive.” Similar sentiments were echoed by Saddick, who runs a juice business.

“We rely on electricity for our machines. Without power, we can’t meet our clients’ demands, and we are losing customers,” he lamented.In light of these ongoing challenges, business owners have banded together and issued an ultimatum to the local government and power utility companies.

They demand an immediate resolution to the power issues, threatening to hold a mass demonstration within the next 48 hours if their plight is not addressed.

Fred Eladu, the station manager of LBS Radio station in Dokolo town, highlighted the severe impact of power outages on the radio business, causing damage to equipment and disrupting broadcasts. “We have been patient, but our patience has limits. We are calling on the authorities to restore reliable power supply or face our peaceful but firm protest,” said Eladu. “We cannot allow our businesses and livelihoods to be destroyed due to neglect.” 

As the deadline for the protest approaches, tension in Dokolo is palpable. Business owners are resolute in their demand for immediate action, and the broader community is rallying in support, recognizing that the power crisis affects everyone. The coming days will be crucial in determining whether the local authorities can avert the protest by providing a tangible solution to the power outages that have paralyzed business in Dokolo.

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