Aqua~Media International Ltd is the publisher of The International Journal on Hydropower and Dams, and the organizer of the HYDRO, ASIA and AFRICA event series.
On the first day, it is planned for the group to travel by coach from Kampala to Owen Falls dam on the White Nile, completed in 1954, and the location of Uganda’s first major hydro plant. There are two powerplants today: Kiira 200 MW, and Nalubaale 180 MW.
In 2002, the Government, through UEGCL, awarded a concession to Eskom Uganda Ltd (a subsidiary of Eskom South Africa) for oper-ation, management and maintenance of the plants. The dam has been affected by alkali silica reaction, and a refurbishment project is to take place soon. Another problem at Owen Falls is that of water hyacinths in the reservoirs, which require regular clearance.
The second technical visit will be to the 250 MW Bujagali scheme on the Victoria Nile, completed in 2012. It was constructed as a public-private partnership project, with World Bank financing. It is about 8 km down-stream of Owen Falls. Bujagali regulates the flows into the Victoria Nile from Lake Victoria and develops a gross head of approximately 22 m.
The project includes a 3300 m3/s capacity main spillway with two radial gates and one flap gate, a 1200 m3/s capacity emergency spillway, a 30 m-high clay core rockfill embankment type dam and a 30 m-high concrete gravity dam. It has a concrete powerhouse structure, with an integral intake, five double-regulated Kaplan turbines, and a 132 kV substation.
There will also be a chance to see the centre known as the ‘Source of the Nile’, and the monument to John Hanning Speke, the British explorer who was the first European to reach Lake Victoria, and made several expeditions to establish the source of the Nile.
The final technical visit will be to the 183 MW Isimba scheme, about 44 km from Bujagali. It was commissioned in March 2019. This comprises a concrete gravity dam, a clay-core rockfill dam, and a powerhouse equipped with four vertical Kaplan units. There will be two overnight stays in Jinja, with return to Kampala on the third morning.
This tour will involve a journey north by coach, with a lunch stop en route, which is provisionally planned to be at the town of Kabalega.
The technical highlight of the tour will be a visit to the site of the 600 MW Karuma dam, reaching completion on the Victoria Nile.
Karuma dam is a 20 m-high RCC gravity structure, with a crest length of 312 m. The first 100 MW unit at the plant is scheduled to begin operation in October this year. When fully commissioned, it, together with some small schemes, will increase Uganda’s installed capacity to nearly 2000 MW.
The dam is the largest of its type in East Africa, and it will impound a reservoir with an area of 2737 ha, and a length of 35 km.
Dinner and an overnight stay are planned to be at the Chobe Safari Lodge. A game drive is planned for the following morning at Chobe. The group will then travel on to Paara, for an overnight stay at the Paara Safari Lodge. An evening or early morning game drive is planned at Paara, before the journey back to Kampala. En route, it may be possible to stop briefly at the site of the proposed future Murchison Falls hydro project.
Travel to the sites will be by luxury coach with the services of a tour guide. UEGCL engineers will be available at the hydropower and dam sites to give a short briefing followed by tours around the facilities. Picnics with boxed lunches may be enjoyed near the reservoirs on some days, and dinner will be served each night at the hotels.
AFRICA CONFERENCE will take place at the Speke Resort Munyonyo beside Lake Victoria, Uganda. The fourth in the AFRICA regional conference series, previous events have been held in Ethiopia, Morocco and Namibia.
Opening ceremony, technical sessions begin and evening Welcome reception.
Technical sessions continue and extended opening of the Exhibition.
Technical sessions continue, closing ceremony and Farewell Dinner.