KENYA – The government of Kenya plans to connect 2.4 million households to subsidised power starting July this year, inching closer to its ambitious goal of universal electricity access.

In the Budget Policy Statement for the financial year 2021/2022, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said the increased connections will be achieved through a mix of geothermal, coal, and wind, solar and hydro sources that will more than double power generation to 6,700 Megawatts from 2,819 Megawatts.

The additional households will bring to more than 9.6 million linked to subsidised power under the scheme dubbed Last Mile Connectivity Project.

“This will enable connection of an additional 2.4 million new households through the grid and off-grid solutions,” Mr Yatani said.

The Cabinet Secretary added that the State was banking on the recently completed national geo-spatial mapping that has revealed vast natural resources to be used in power generation.

“The increased connections will be achieved through a mix of geothermal, coal, and wind, solar and hydro sources that will more than double power generation to 6,700 Megawatts from 2,819 Megawatts”

A further 3,003 public facilities that include schools, trading centres, health centres, water points and administrative offices have also been marked for connection.

The East African nation will construct 3,082.9 km of transmission lines, 37 transmissions and 45 distribution substations that will boost stability of the power distribution.

Over 7.2 million households are already connected to the subsided power that is funded by the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Kenyan government.

The Last Mile Connectivity is an eight-and-a-half-year project set to cost US$704.8 million with development financiers committing US$454 million while the remainder is being provided by the Kenya government.

The project is part of the State’s efforts to promote a 24-hour economy, boost security and bring more public facilities into the national grid.

Budget cuts, shortage of poles and allowed tax exemption have hampered the Last Mile Connectivity with the country missing its target for the last three years.

In the three years to June 2020, Kenya connected 1,522,858 customers to the national grid in the three-year period, missing its target by nearly 1.28 million.

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