CREEC HOSTS HYDRO REGIONAL TRAINING
Uganda currently has a good number of hydro power projects that are being run and implemented by both public and private entities. The challenge however is that the availability of manpower to operate and manage the smooth running of such power stations is still lacking. It’s with this such background that East African Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (EACREEE) partnered with the Uganda National Renewable Energy ad Energy Efficiency Alliance (UNREEEA) and the Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC) and its partners organized an East African regional training course on development, design, installation, and operation of small hydropower plants at Makerere University. The five day training that attracted 27 participants from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania provided both theoretical and hands on sessions for the teams to clearly understand the training concepts.
Speaking during the training, Mary Suzan Abbo the Managing Director CREEC said that such skills are lacking to enable the smooth running of power dams and it’s important that people running such power stations get hands-on skills to better the onsite operations. “The five-day training aimed at providing practical skills in installation, operation, and maintenance of renewable energy plants and also update the participants with the current technology in hydropower,” she said. She added that the availability of skilled labor will increase regional power generating capacity and also increase rural accessibility to power. According to Eng. Emmy Matovu, the chairman of the Hydropower Association in Uganda by 2020, Uganda will have over 140 hydropower stations running and these will need about 840 technicians and 180 engineers to run them smoothly. This calls for specialized expertise and training in management.
Uganda will need to take action now by having more capacity building to provide the required skills to help in the installation, design, and operation of the power stations. Participants were also treated to a practical learning experience in a field visit to Nalubaale Power Station. Special thanks to Eskom Uganda for authorizing our visit to the power station. The practical tour cemented the training lessons for the participants. We are hoping to see more involvement in hydropower stations after this training. This was the second hydro power training hosted by CREEC after her accreditation by the Directorate of Industrial Training under the Ministry of Education and Sports.