Some 3,000 households in Pate and Faza Islands can henceforth look forward to regular electricity supply with the installation of a new 500-kVa Off-Grid Diesel Powered Generating station that will tackle frequent power outages in Lamu East.
Power supply in Pate Island has been off for two weeks following the breakdown of the old diesel generators that were prone to frequent breakdowns. It is expected that the off grid station will provide power from Monday next week.
The Kenya Power Lamu County Business Manager, Bernard Kataka who spoke to KNA acknowledged that the requisition for the new off-grid diesel generator station was informed by the frequent outages brought about by the use of four old generators that were prone to frequent breakdowns resulting in disruption of power supply in the Faza/Pate area.
Also speaking to KNA on Friday in Kililana area, the Lamu East MP, Athman Sharriff lauded the move by Kenya Power to install new generators as it will improve electricity supply in Pate Island.
“Our office has since last year lobbied intensely not only to Kenya Power but also to the national government over a need to bring in new generators to improve the electricity connectivity in the area,” Sharriff said.
He further illustrated how the old diesel generators that had been donated by KENGEN and Rural Electrification Authority following the connection of Amu Island to the national grid, were prone to frequent breakdowns, thus hampering fluid electricity supply in the Lamu East Island.
The two generators had previously been in use in Amu Island until its connection to the national grid in 2016 courtesy of Jubilee administration Last Mile connectivity project.
“It is in the President’s interest that the whole country enjoys uninterrupted power supply, and Pate is no different thus it is a welcome relief that these new generators will improve the existing situation,” he said.
He further revealed that plans are underway to connect Pate Island to the national grid with the expectation being that it will take place in the next financial year.
The National government’s rural electrification programme will see Pate Island connected to the national grid through an 8 kilometre two-prong undersea cable of 33 KV with inbuilt fibre from mainland Kenya Navy Base in Kililana area to Mtangawanda area.
It is expected that the undersea cable will cost an estimated Sh.500 million, with design work already done and prospective external contractors identified to lay the cable that will connect Faza/Pate to the national grid.
The Ministry of Energy expects to fund the project in the 2020/2021 financial year.
“We have assurances by the national government that Lamu East should be fully connected to the national grid by 2022, as this will help expand access to previously marginalised areas such as Faza has the potential to be a key cog in driving the country’s blue economy agenda as a major fish trading post,” Shariff stated.
By Amenya Ochieng