UNIVERSAL ACCESS

State to connect 35,000 households to electricity by December

CS Monica Juma says the project will have a big impact on the electrification of public facilities and households

In Summary

•The projects are being implemented by the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation.

•She said in the last 10 years, the government has funded rural electrification projects to a tune of Sh120.3 billion with the target being areas that are far away from the national grid.

Energy CS Monica Juma in Tana North subcounty during the commissioning of the Bura-Bilbil-Charidende electricity line.
UNIVERSAL ACCESS: Energy CS Monica Juma in Tana North subcounty during the commissioning of the Bura-Bilbil-Charidende electricity line.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

The government is aiming at connecting over 35,000 households to electricity and 1,200 facilities in 36 counties by December, Energy CS Monica Juma has said.

Juma said the governemnt was committed to achieving universal access to electricity to meet Kenya's development goals.

The CS spoke in Bilbil town on Saturday when she officially commissioned the Bura-Bilbil-Charidende line.

The electricity line is part of the electrification of the public facilities project, currently being implemented in Western, Nyanza, North and South Rift, Central, Eastern, and Coast regions.

The projects are being implemented by the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation.

“We are all cognisant of the fact that Kenyan households and businesses will need competitively-priced, reliable, safe and sustainable energy to deliver on the Big Four Agenda priorities and ultimately the aspirations of Kenya’s Vision 2030,” she said.

She said in the last 10 years, the government has funded rural electrification projects to a tune of Sh120.3 billion with the target being areas that are far away from the national grid.

Energy CS Monica Juma with the REREC board of directors chairperson Wacuka Ikua.
PROJECT: Energy CS Monica Juma with the REREC board of directors chairperson Wacuka Ikua.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

She said the government has negotiated for funding of approximately Sh20.24 billion.

Upon completion, 510 projects will have been implemented through the programme.

The CS said the project will have a big impact on the electrification of public facilities and households across the country. 

“The project will open up most of the un-electrified areas within the grid extension and is therefore expected to increase the electricity connection level of the rural areas in the country,” she said.

“This is a testimony that the government is driven by the commitment to have universal access to modern forms of energy that will transform Kenya into a newly-industrialised middle-income country as articulated in the Vision 2030.”

She urged residents to practice community policing to ensure that the infrastructure is secured.

Juma called on the project implementation partners to ensure that the remaining projects are completed by December as envisaged.

Residents of Bilbil in Tana North subcounty.
BENEFICIARIES: Residents of Bilbil in Tana North subcounty.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

REREC chief executive officer Peter Mbugua said the project targets to open up most of the un-electrified areas within the grid extension, to increase the electricity connected level of the rural areas.

“REREC's vision is to support the government by ensuring that energy supply is available in all parts of the country and providing sustainable energy solutions for all through rural electrification and renewable energy for social-economic transformation,” he said.

He said the project envisages constructing 2,850 km of medium and low voltage power line distribution network and installation of about 1,200 distribution transformers. 

Businessman Mohamed Abdi said the availability of electricity in rural trading centres will empower the rural populace, enabling the growth of income-generating activities such as the jua kali sector and providing employment opportunities.

“We are extremely happy with the commissioning of this project. Electrification of our town and its environs will lead to financial empowerment for our people,” Abdi said.

Last year during the UN climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland, President Uhuru Kenyatta said his administration had expanded access to electricity from below 30 per cent to 75 per cent in the last nine years.

The President said renewable energy in Kenya currently accounts for 73 per cent of the installed power generation capacity, while 90 per cent of the electricity in use is from clean sources.

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris

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