The establishment of a solar panel assembling plant and training center in Buwunga Sub County in Masaka district has excited residents.
The solar plant, which is found at Mbira village in Buwunga Sub County, 15km East of Masaka Town, is managed by Grace Project, under American missionaries. Tony Applegate, one of the found members of Grace Project says they realized that solar energy is the only hope for Buwunga area, which lacks power. He however, does not disclose how much money was used to set up the plant.
The plant assembles panels that can light between two and six bulbs and also run laptops. They cost between 400,000 and 1.5 million shillings.
Applegate says that they established the project to give residents, orphans and street children skills on how solar energy operates. He is excited that their learners have been able to assemble their first solar panels, which is operational. Applegate explains that they import all the components and use primary seven pupils to assemble the solar panels.
Michael Kakuba, Rose Namutebi, and Matia Kiganda are some of the primary seven pupils who successfully assembled the first solar panel at the plant. Kiganda says they struggled a lot but somehow managed to master how solar energy functions. He explains that they were first trained the connection between sun light, the solar panels and batteries.
Kakuba says that after several failed attempts they managed to get power after connecting the battery, solar panel and cables. He says they are now very conversant with how energy is preserved and trapped into the battery.
Francis Kimuli, the Buwunga sub county LC3 Chairman says they are excited about the establishment of the solar assembling plant and training centre in their area. He says almost all the people in Buwunga Sub County have no access to power and are looking forward to getting solar panels from the plant to power their houses.
He says with the increase in prices of Kerosene, many residents believe solar energy will go a long way in providing an alternative lighting for the rural poor.
John Jones Kalanzi, the Director of Grace Project says with the help of American technicians the pupils have managed to assemble dozens of solar panels, which have already been sold to the communities in Buwunga.
He says in addition to equipping pupils with technical skills, they look at this assembling plant as a source of employment for their people. Kalanzi says they intend to buy more equipment to expand the plant into a big complex in near future.