Kenya Power intends to increase electricity access rate in Makueni to 70 per cent up from the current 30 per cent by 2022, the County Kenya Power Manager, Eng. Josephat Lango has said.
Eng. Lango disclosed that they have put in place strategies to ensure the 40 per cent increase is achieved in the next three years.
Among the strategies, include fast tracking all government, donor and Kenya Power funded projects to ensure that the projects are completed.
“Some of the projects include the last mile connectivity which targets to connect 12,000 persons. Construction works are complete and the only thing left is the metering,” said Lango on Thursday during a County Development Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC) meeting chaired by the County Commissioner (CC), Maalim Mohammed in his boardroom.
He added that the first three phases of the last mile connectivity were in progress and disclosed that plans were underway to identify a contractor for the fourth phase.
Lango noted that the densification of electricity in the county will also involve connecting all public institutions, markets, health facilities, Jua kali shades, police stations, chief’s camps, streets and boreholes that have a capacity of 10 cubic metres and above.
“We are targeting 320 markets that have already been identified by the county government,” he said.
The County Power Manager said surveyors will from next week conduct mapping to determine the cost of connecting the new centres that have been identified for the densification by both the county and national governments.
Speaking at the same meeting, the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KURA) Lower Eastern Region, Eng. Musa Murunga said the improvement of Wote township roads was at 46.8 per cent.
However, he revealed that the project had challenges like delayed payments by the employer, encroachment on the road corridor and water pipes in the construction limit and electricity poles that are on the road.
The officer disclosed that this had made it impossible for the contractor to continue as the organizations demand payment before the poles and pipes are removed from the road.
The contractor is to improve the Makueni Vocational Centre–Kivandini (3km), Premese –Bus Park (1.6km), Bus park- School-Watuka (1km) and Kenya Medical Training College (0.40km) roads to bitumen standards at a cost of Sh 348,487,148 million.
“Already the contractor has been paid Sh. 146,876,939.47 million. Works ongoing along the Makueni vocational centre-Kivandini and KMTC roads, but the other two roads have been improved to bitumen standards,” said Murunga.
The CC challenged the different departments to always consult before starting projects so as to avoid hiccups that hinder road construction.
“Government officers should read from the same script and resolve issues through multiagency approach and avoid hiccups,” said Mohammed.
By Patrick Nyakundi