President Yoweri Museveni last Saturday launched a project for making electric poles from cement and concrete in Soroti Municipality. This is the brainchild of Dakabela MP, Cosmas Elotu. Previously the poles were got from cutting of trees from forests contracted by the Uganda Electricity Board.
Whereas we are normally suspicious of the economic intentions of MPs in national development, this idea is a good innovation. That somebody has come up with it is a notable pointer to the local private investment where usually Government should have given direction.
With any luck, the rural electrification scheme is gearing off to extend power to the 80% of the population that is currently not benefiting from the power grid. This is where the concrete poles come in handy, as they provide an alternative to the wooden ones that were a cause for deforestation. This therefore adds to the protection of the environment.
Also, apart from providing employment, however small, to a nation that has a problem in this sector; it is giving impetus to the further exploitation of stone quarrying. Apart from making the poles, it will be also useful for the asphalt aggregate for the construction of the Sorori-Moroto road that is now hopefully underway.