Japan to fund Uganda small hydro

A Japanese delegation has identified a site at Uganda’s Sezibwa Falls to be the 30-kW pilot project for five micro-hydropower projects for Uganda’s Rural Electrification Agency.

The Japanese government is assisting development of about US$500,000 in micro-hydro generation as a boost to rural electrification, Uganda’s New Vision reported.

Koichi Hagimara, industrial development officer of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), who participated in the Japanese fact-finding tour, told a Ugandan meeting that UNIDO also would provide funding under its Grassroots Program. The five projects are to cost about US$100,000 each, of which UNIDO is to provide about US$90,000.

In addition to Sezibwa Falls in Mukono, other sites studied included Kapchorwa, Mbale, and Awulu Falls in West Nile. The delegation included officials of Tanaka Hydraulic Machinery Works Co.

Earlier this year, Japanese ambassador H.E. Ryuuzo Kikuchi said Japan is ready to assist Uganda in hydroelectric generation. He said Japan would provide a Minimal Interest Rate Initiative (MIRAI) loan with a rate as low as 0.01 percent and a repayment period of 40 years with a 10-year grace period.

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