UEGCL sensitizes ISIMBA HPP communities on dam safety & emergency preparedness
Dam Safety plays a cardinal part in the Operations & Maintenance of Hydropower plants. It’s through the Dam Safety program that the structural integrity of the dam is monitored and various levels of intervention formulated to cater for any anomalies that might occur during its lifetime. All this is consolidated in the Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP). Commissioned in March 2019, the Isimba dam is run by Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited – UEGCL. The Isimba EPP was one of the essentials formulated prior to the eventual transition from the Isimba Project to Isimba O&M.
During March 2022, routine sensitizations on implementation of the EPP, dam safety, and public safety were organized for Project Affected Persons (PAPs) within the peripheral communities to the plant. In compliance with the Isimba Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP), the dam safety team in liaison with the Sociologist carried out the annual Dam safety sensitizations in both Kayunga and Kamuli District, from the Parish level straight to the District administration level. During these sit-downs, the different persons were reminded of their roles in implementing the Isimba EPP.
For upstream communities and those living along the shores of the Isimba Reservoir, we use these sensitizations to re-echo and educate the fisher communities about water safety, especially the use of Life jackets during trans-reservoir movements and fishing. Social vices like vandalism of safety signages on both the reservoir and the public bridge, and encroachment on reservoir land are also highly criticized during these town hall meetings.
The annual EPP sensitizations also enable us to update the Emergency contact lists. This is because certain contact persons (like Local Council leaders) hold elective positions and tend to change after their terms of office are concluded, while others are routinely rotated (like the District Police Commanders – DPCs and the Resident District Commissioners – RDCs). During the sensitizations, we also take feedback from the participants on their satisfaction with our services and operations at Isimba HPP.