Tigania West Member of Parliament Dr. John Mutunga has lauded efforts by the national government through last-mile connectivity and Renewable Energy and Rural Electrification Corporation (REREC) to light up the constituency.
Addressing journalists yesterday, Dr. Mutunga said the constituency had been lagging behind in terms of electrification as compared to most of the other constituencies in Kenya due to the previous low attention that was given to the initiative.
By 2017, he added, the constituency was at 24 per cent connectivity on average, while Kenya was at 75 per cent.
“Upon realisation of the sorry state of affairs, we expeditiously lobbied for the constituency to be put under affirmative action consideration in order to pull up the connectivity levels.
As we speak the constituency has been given affirmative consideration and is therefore likely to benefit from better allocations to improve on the situation,” said Dr. Mutunga.
He said like other parts of the country and the world at large, Tigania West transformation strategy recognises the need for electricity connectivity as a means to open up avenues for more economic activities and enhance competitiveness.
He said he has rooted for a continued good working relationship with Kenya Power Company and the REREC to enhance power connection in the constituency.
“Our engagement has focused on repair and replacement of non-functional transformers, upgrading those experiencing overload, maximisation of the underutilised transformers through last-mile connectivity, and implementation of new projects with complete transformer sets,” said Dr. Mutunga.
Through REREC, he added, new projects with complete transformer sets have been awarded and are at various levels of implementation.
He said the projects may not cover all the households in the given locality but the plan is to have them included in the last mile programme afterward. The program is targeting 840 households.
“Through KPC we have also been able to push for the repair and replacement of the Nkiluthu, Mweronkoro, Urru,Kamaroo, Mweronkanga Kunene, and Rei transformers that were either vandalised or non-functional.
We have also been able to secure 77 last mile connectivity projects out of which 52 have already been contracted and are at various levels of realisation,” Dr. Mutunga said.
He said the additional 25 have already undergone the design phase and are now at the contracting stage.
“We anticipate to have those projects complete by 2022 and over 5000 additional families connected to the national grid as compared to the current 3500 families,” said Dr. Mutunga.
He said they will continue to actively identify the underserved transformers and reporting the same to KPC for incorporation into the future last-mile projects upon verification.
“We wrote to the ministry of energy requesting for 96 new transformers that had been identified through the sub-location-based fact-finding meetings and they instructed REREC to carry out a further assessment of our request where 67 proposed transformers have been marked as a priority and Sh325million budgetary estimate has already been done,” said Dr. Mutunga.
By Dickson Mwiti