The closure of the facilities, located in Jinja, is expected to reduce combined generation to a five-year low of 170MW, considerably short of peak demand.

‘We are considering reducing the use of the little water that is available, but the situation is already bad enough. Further disruptions would spell disaster for the economy, so we are looking at other options,” Commissioner for Energy Paul Mubiru reportedly said.

Hydro power production has fallen from a peak of 265MW two years ago to the current 170MW as a result of the prolonged drought in the Lake Victoria catchment, and shortages are expected to continue for several years until new capacity comes online at the Bujagali or Karuma Falls projects in 2010.

Eskom-run Uganda Electricity Generation Company has already shut down the Kiira power station, which has 120MW of its planned 200 MW already installed.