, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 7 – The countrywide power rationing programme in Kenya is to be discontinued by the end of the week.
The National Taskforce on Accelerated Development of Green Energy chaired by Prime Minister Raila Odinga was informed on Wednesday that measures to bridge the energy deficit were placed after the government last month imported power generators to boost the supply in selected areas.
The meeting held at the Premier’s Treasury Building office explored ways of making energy affordable through diversification of cost effective electricity generation outlets in areas with production potentials.
“We need cheap energy to accelerate industrial growth. We do not have to price ourselves out of the regional market especially now that most neighbouring countries charge less than we offer,” he said.
The new development comes after the country experienced acute shortage of power supply due to falling water levels in most hydro electricity power generation plants.
The low energy generation at the plants widely attributed to severe drought forced power companies to hike prices and introduce rationing in residential areas and channel the available meagre supply for industrial production.
The PM at the same time directed the Energy Ministry to spearhead and take over the inception of solid waste power generation initiatives after preliminary reports indicated that the local authorities had failed to install related plants.
“The ministry should take the lead and implement solid waste green energy production because the ingredients of the concept have become an eyesore at the expense of the beautification of our urban centre,” he said.
Mr Odinga ordered the relevant authorities to invite bidders willing to venture into the unexploited field and pledged to help those interested acquire land for the exercise.
The committee also proposed that bamboo trees be used in the rehabilitation of the Mau Forest complex before part of the new vegetation cover was exploited for production of thermal energy but a section of members were sceptical about the idea.
The Premier however allayed the fears and said the proposal was subject to approval by the Mau forest secretariat whose conservation efforts were in top gear.
He made known to the meeting that the secretariat had identified 19,000 hectares of land for the relocation of the squatters from the water tower under the first phase of the exercise.
Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi in his contribution recommended a review of energy tariffs to woo investors into the country towards economic growth.
Other members of the Cabinet in attendance were Deputy Premier and Local Government Minister Musalia Mudavadi and his Industrialization counterpart Henry Kosgey along with their respective chief officers.