, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 19 – At least eight out of 10 Kenyans across the country will be connected to electricity in the next four years through the ‘Last Mile Electricity Connectivity’ project.
Energy and Petroleum Permanent Secretary Joseph Njoroge says this will be due to the expected huge drop in the cost of connectivity from the average Sh35,000 especially in the rural areas via the project.
Speaking to journalists after the Kenya Power Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday, Njoroge said the project will be officially launched in February next year.
“This is a very empowering project. It is a project that will possibly change the current access rate of electricity from about 32 percent to 75 in about four years,” the PS said.
On Thursday, the government signed a Sh12.2 billion loan agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to finance the project.
The total cost of the project is Sh13.4 billion with the government expected to directly make available Sh1.2 billion.
The PS said during the implementation, at least 1.2 million people will be connected to the grid adding that those without funds will get soft loans.
“We will be connecting everybody. Those who will have the capacity to pay will do so. But those without, will be accessing a loan facility which they will pay for a period of time together with their bills. So it is a very radical way of doing the connections,” he said.
The ‘Last Mile Electricity Connectivity’ project entails the construction of 12,000 metres of low voltage distribution lines and the installation of equipment that will connect electricity to a minimum of 284,200 residential homes and 30,000 commercial consumers.
“This program is going to be implemented by both Kenya Power and the Rural Electrification Authority. This is a total transformation from the way Kenya Power does its connectivity today. Because what we want to be doing is that once we get to a transformer, everybody is connected,” Njoroge explained.
He announced that other development partners have already expressed interest in supporting the project including Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), World Bank and Danish International Development Agency (Danida).