Kenya: State Seeks Funding for Rural Power Lines
18 July 2014
Rural Electrification Authority Chairman, Simon Gicharu joins Rural Electrification Authority workers to position a pole at Kapseret Primary school in Uasin Gishu County. The Authority is connecting electricity to the school.
Courtesy THE National Treasury has reassured power consumers that the cost of new electricity connections will not go beyond Sh34,980 and Sh49,080 for single and three phase connections respectively. Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich however said Kenya Power was not allocated any funds in the 2013/2014 budget to subsidise power connections. "The issue of power subsidy has always been a challenge," he said.
"The reason there was no allocation is that we are working on a long standing concession facility supported by development partners to increase connections especially in rural a reas. Rotich said that despite the delay in the negotiations he is optimistic this would be soon finalised. Energy Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge had on May 6 said the State was in final negotiation stages for the concessional loans amounting to Sh73.5 billion ($840 million).
The first batch of Sh14 billion ($160 million) from African Development Bank was expected in September after the bank's board meeting, Njoroge said. The entire amount was expected to be released in the "next four to five years", the Energy PS said then. In a review in April, the Kenya Power put the total cost of new electricity connection at Sh135,000 for single-phase customers including those within 600 metres of a transformer.
However, the State stepped in promising further funding beyond the Sh2.7 billion that was exhausted late last year. The review capped connection subsidy at Sh100,000 only for customers whose total connection cost does not exceed Sh135,000, leaving those with a quotation above this to fully foot the bill. Total connections last year stood at 2,330, 962 - a rise of 292,337 customers from 2,038,625 in 2012, according to the Economic Survey 2014.
Original article by Constant Munda