, NYAHURURU, Kenya, Aug 11 – The government has spent over Sh30 billion in the implementation of rural electrification projects countrywide for the last three years.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), Zachariah Ayieko, the government has been able to finance about 12,000 public institutions such as health centres, schools, water projects among others in an effort to ensure that all rural areas get access to power for their economic growth and development.
“We seek to connect all public facilities by 2012 at a cost of Sh50 billion and provide electricity to every Kenyan by 2030 under our strategic plan,” he said adding that achieving the country’s long-term development blueprint Vision 2030 is pegged on most – if not all – Kenyans accessing electricity.
Mr Ayieko said REA was also allocated Sh6 billion in this financial year to enable the authority connect more parts of the country to the national grid.
Speaking while on a tour of Ol-Kalou constituency, the CEO observed that the authority was committed to enable people living in rural areas benefit from power that will spur development.
Mr Ayieko who was accompanied by Ol-Kalou MP Erastus Mureithi, toured Guchungo Secondary school, Rurii dispensary, Kangui High school among other projects that have benefited from REA in partnership with the French Development Agency (AFD) in his constituency.
On his part, Mr Mureithi commended the Rural Electrification Authority for sponsoring the project successfully, noting that it would go a long way in empowering the people in the area economically. He urged Kenyans to engage in constructive politics that would help in national healing and reconciliation, saying solutions to Kenya\’s problems lies fully on Kenyans.
He said it was important for Kenyans to utilise their cultural diversity for the benefit of the nation and not as a tool to fan hatred and division.
Pauline Larat who represented the French Development Agency said the French government would continue supporting Kenya in financing its various development programs owing to the good relations between the two nations.
She said more funding would be channeled through the Kenyan government to ensure all residents living in rural areas benefit from such projects in an effort geared toward poverty alleviation.
The Rural Electrification Authority was formed to spearhead the supply of power to rural areas, a task that was previously undertaken by power distributor Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC).
Among public institutions set to benefit from the programme are schools, health institutions, coffee and tea factories.