Uganda’s President has endorsed the construction of the 250MW hydro power plant at Bujagali Falls in Jinja, 80km east of Kampala, the country’s capital.

The President expressed concern over the delayed signing of contracts with the independent power producers Norpak Power and Nile Independent Power (NIP). The president has asked the Energy Minister to finalise the power deals quickly.

US power producer AES had won the contract to construct the plant, but signing of the contracts has been delayed due to protests by environmentalists. They say the plant will destroy a spectacular set of rapids and one of the country’s top tourist attractions.

The Uganda Electricity Board has also been given credits by the Norwegian government for uprating and refurbishment of its Lira, Tororo main and Kabulasoke plants. The mixed credit totalled US$6.3M, comprising a grant of US$5.1M and a loan of US$1.2M.

•Meanwhile, in Namibia record levels have been recorded at the Naute dam in the south of the country.

Compared with all other dams in the country, Naute recorded the highest percentage of full capacity at 76.5%. In contrast the Daan Viljoen dam is empty, while the Dreihuk dam, which was recorded as being empty at this time last year, is now at 6.3% capacity.