It is the second time the Jubilee administration has lowered the cost of connecting to the power grid, having first done so when it came into office in 2013 by subsidising the Sh70,000 cost.
When announcing the further reduction, President Kenyatta explained that it was the fruit of his government’s effort, over the two years they’ve been in office so far, to build the nation’s electricity production capacity.
“Standing here I am truly able to declare that by 2017, seventy percent of our country will have access to power, we shall surely be like the West in that regard,” he said at the launch of the Last Mile Connectivity Project in Machakos on Wednesday.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) and World Bank funded Last Mile Connectivity Project is part of the Jubilee administration’s effort to see three million more Kenyans connected to the power grid in the next three years.
“From 1922 to 2012, that is 90 years, 1.1 million customers connected. 2013 to 2015, three million customers which are connected,” Energy Principal Secretary Engineer Joseph Njoroge said of the progress made so far at the launch.
The AfDB partnership will see 5,320 transformers distributed to all the constituencies in Kenya making it possible for 314,200 customers to be connected to the low-voltage network.
The World Bank partnership will see a further 300,000 customers connected to both low and medium voltage power systems.
The Jubilee administration has often presented the argument that a low cost, easily accessible and reliable electricity connection is critical to its efforts to power Kenya’s industrialisation.
It is also critical to its manifesto pledge of putting every school in Kenya in a position to take advantage of technological advancements.
READ: All primary schools to get power by June 2015
The Sh15,000 it now costs to connect to the power grid, President Kenyatta also made clear, can be paid out in instalments once the connection is made.
“Those who cannot afford even this new tariff, we have instructed that Kenya Power will allow that new tariff of Sh15,000 to be paid in instalments but connection will be done,” he assured.