Implications of rainfall variability on Mubuku mini hydro power dam in Kasese, Western Uganda.
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Hydropower is the main source of energy in Kasese. It has been highly affected by rainfall variabilities that cause fluctuations in the energy generated a situation that has led to power blackouts. However, very little has been documented to ascertain the extent of this effect on the power generated at Mubuku hydro power dam. This study was based on three objectives: 1) determine the trend of rainfall patterns around river Mubuku between 2010 and 2020; 2) examine the influence of rainfall patterns on power generated between 2010 and 2020 at Mubuku mini dam in Kasese and 3) identify the implications of power blackouts on selected sectors in Kasese. The study used a cross sectional research design that necessitated both qualitative and quantitative techniques. Further, the study used random sampling to obtain the sample. In addition, the study employed key informant interviews, questionnaires and photography to collect data. The collected data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, regressions and content analysis. Data was also analyzed using GIS, SPSS and excel. Considering the first objective of determining the trend of rainfall patterns around river Mubuku, the study found a fluctuating trend between 2010 and 2020. In the second objective of examining the influence of rainfall patterns on power generated the study found out an increase in rainfall to increase the amounts of energy generated and a decrease in rainfall to reduce the amounts of energy generated. In the third objective of identifying the implications of power blackouts on selected sectors of Kasese, this study found out increase in the costs of production, increased criminality, damages of electrical appliances, inconveniences, food spoilage, noise and indoor air pollution to be the major problems associated with power blackouts in Kasese. The study findings enlightened the local authorities on how to solve the problems arising from power blackouts to boost the various sectors of the local economy. The results were to enable the policy makers in formulating new policies depending on the problems identified.