, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – An inter-agency taskforce has been set up to formulate the Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill that seeks to protect all infrastructure in the country that include power lines, water reticulation, telecommunication cables and distribution channels among others.
The taskforce was formed by the Transport and Infrastructure, Energy, Information Communication and Technology (ICT) ministries to oversee drafting of the bill in the next two months.
ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i says the taskforce comprises key agencies in both the public and private sectors that include Kenya Power, Kenya Pipeline Company, ICT Authority, Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) among others.
Matiang’i says the bill will seek an all-inclusive approach in the planning, designing and implementation of the critical infrastructure and will see stringent penalties put in place for infrastructure damage.
He says both the government and investors have incurred huge losses owing to infrastructure damage in the recent past.
Currently the deployment, maintenance and protection of these critical Infrastructure is done in an independent and uncoordinated manner leading to disruption of essential services and losses due to accidental damage or need for relocation.
“We have seen drunk drivers hitting power posts and going to the insurance companies for damages, but what happens to the post? The bill will seek to introduce serious penalties on any one who damages infrastructure,” he said.
The bill will then be open to public participation before it is taken to Cabinet for approval then head to Parliament.
On his part, Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir says the move comes at a better time when investors are keen in entering the Kenyan market, as this will be a major boost to investor confidence.
He pointed out that there have been major power outages in the recent past caused by theft that has seen companies’ record losses.
“Most of the blame goes to the Kenya power, we need to protect these infrastructure projects so as they can create value to the cost of doing business in the country, “he added.
The 12 member taskforce will be chaired by the Airtel Africa Group Regulatory Director Alice Kariuki other members of the team include MTN Managing Director Kenya Business Tom Omariba, Engineer Silas Kinoti and Engineer Patrick Mwinzi among others.