Lira—17, June 2020: The people Boke parish, Adekokwok sub-county, Lira district and St. Gracious Senior Secondary School (SAGRASS) Lira will soon enjoy electricity under Rural Electrification Agency (REA) project.
On 1, November 2019, President Museveni who was the Chief Guest at the official commissioning of SAGRASS Lira—a private secondary school owned by Dr Olet Patrick aka Olet Gracious was reminded about the electricity problem
The school, built to meet the contemporary education needs, with a focus on sciences and located in Adagayela village, Adekokwok sub-county in Lira district is also another beneficiary.
“Because of the peace and freedom, that is how you get people like my son here, who have schools, petrol stations and hotels,” the President said, last year.
He added: “The man has got money during the time of National Resistance Movement (NRM). Nobody is stopping him from building schools because in the past you were not allowed to build schools. Hotels were owned by government, but NRM said let the people be the ones to own the hotels.”
Then, Mr. Olet thanked President Museveni and the government for the conducive atmosphere that has enabled work and for him to accumulate money that he has invested in his home area.
He added that this has enabled him to contribute to the development of his community.
That day, TND News was reliably informed that the President was briefed about the challenges the new learning institution and the entire community was facing, among them [but key] lack of electricity.
Located about 5km off the main road, the school management were devising a better way through which power was to reach the institution.
Also, leaders, among them Erute South MP, Hon Jonathan Odur had earlier been pushing to have the village connected to the power grid
Having been told of the power problem that was expected to interrupt learning and slow local economic development, the President pledged electricity connectivity.
Speaking to TND News on Wednesday morning, Dr Marus Eton (PhD) who’s the Chairperson Students’ Affairs and Planning at SAGRASS, says the first batch of electricity poles arrived last night.
“We have received 66 electricity poles as a pledge from the President when he commissioned the school last year. More (poles) are still coming,” Dr Eton said.
He adds that they also received four transformers. “By September this year, power should be on.”
The poles and the transformer are not for school only, but the affected community in Adekokwok sub-county, TND News has learnt.
Mr Eton further says power will be tapped from the main (Lira—Soroti) highway, covering 5km radius to the school. “This will also benefit the community within the school,” he tells the publication.
As of now, SAGRASS has a student enrolment of 804 with 106 staff and the school sits on a 21 hectares’ land, according to school top official.
The school is valued at 4.89 billion.
The electricity project under REA was lobbied by the late Johnston Okwir Okullu about five years ago. He died last year before the survey was done.
According to Major Gen Innocent Felix Oula who’s the army representative in Parliament also a member in the committee on national resources [Parliament], the power project is to serve the whole village of Boke.
Gen Oula also questioned: How can President Museveni donate four transformers for one school? “It’s not correct,” he says.
His concern follows the publication’s earlier headline on the same “Museveni donates 66 electricity poles, 4 transformers to St Gracious SS Lira”
“It’s not true it was donated to Olet. When Olet established his school, the survey was already done. That thing is not a donation – it is Rural Electrification we started long ago. It was only Boke without electricity in the entire Adekokwok; so, it’s for the entire village of Boke in Adekokwok sub-county. It’s not for the school,” the army officer explains during an interview with Frank Oyugi Wednesday afternoon.
According to Mr Oula, President Museveni takes credit because “that is his work, because he’s the one who has brought up that program; but it’s not because of the school, it because of the whole community….”
Erute South MP, Jonathan Odur speaks
Jonathan Odur also spoke to TND News Wednesday afternoon, expressing his concern on publication’s headline, and his efforts as a Member of Parliament in securing electricity for the community.
“I am refuting the headline in your paper claiming that that the 4 transformers and poles from government is a donation to St Gracious by the President. Government can’t donate 4 transformers to one school only, not even a University can have it.”
“There is a clear technical drawing for the positions of those 4 transformers spread across Boke Parish covering several villages.”
As a matter of fact, that power extension project by REA to Boke parish is a result of a joint request, diligent lobbying and follow up by Hon Joy Ongom, Hon Maj Gen Innocent Oula and myself right from 2016 which we intensified after Boke was left out of the first phase because the system had only an old drawing with one transformer only that was to be put around the home of the late Mr Okwir Okullu.”
“In fact Hon Oula supported us a lot by virtue of his placement on Committee on Natural resources and frequented severally the REA offices to meet with the ED and Network Eng Flavia.
The Management of the school should desist from exploiting the visit by the President to divert the location of the transformers since only one shall be placed in or around the school, the rest goes to other villages in Boke.”
According to Mr Odur, the four transformers and poles are for Boke parish not Adekokwok sub-country which has 6 parishes.
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