Rerec rolls out electricity connection plan in Coast

Kenya Power

Kenya Power Company employee carries out repairs on a power transformer in Mombasa. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, Mombasa, Taita Taveta and Tana River counties are set to benefit.
  • Six projects will be rolled out in Bura where the government will pump in Sh16.47 million.

The Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (Rerec) has stepped up the roll out of 122 electrification projects in six Coastal counties at a cost of Sh961.3 million.

The Matching Fund Programme is targeting to have more than 7,287 new customers, including households, public utilities and commercial centres, connected to electricity.

The counties to benefit from the programme are Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, Mombasa, Taita Taveta and Tana River.

On Tuesday, Rerec signed a partnership with the Tana River County government for the implementation of 22 electrification projects in Bura, Galole and Garsen constituencies at a cost of Sh172.52 million to benefit 966 new customers.

Six projects will be rolled out in Bura where the government will pump in Sh16.47 million while donors will put in Sh65.1 million to benefit 318 new customers.

For Galole, there are four projects at a cost of Sh25.52 million with the government shouldering Sh15.28 million and donors Sh10.24 million. Some 363 new customers will benefit.

Rural electrification projects

In Garsen, there are 12 projects lined up targeting 285 new customers, with the government putting in Sh28.52 million and donors Sh22.42 million. 

Of the 22 projects, six have been commissioned, five are ongoing while 11 will begin in two weeks’ time.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Rerec’s board chairperson Godfrey Lemiso said the collaborative framework with the county will see the two entities contribute Sh15 million each towards implementing the rural electrification projects. 

“Under this partnership, the county government has committed Sh15 million and Rerec will match it with Sh15 million to undertake the projects. We are currently implementing 22 other electrification projects in Tana River County at a total cost of Sh172.5 million,” said Mr Lemiso.

However, he pointed out that the programme has also suffered its fair share of challenges including limited funds, which have impeded the timely implementation of various projects.

To curb the challenge and supplement the of funds from the exchequer, Mr Lemiso said Rerec developed a participatory approach to finance rural electrification projects — cost-sharing with county governments, National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) and other stakeholders. 

Renewable energy drive

Mr Lemiso said the corporation has since the financial year ended June 2015 partnered with 15 counties and 66 constituencies to implement a total of 1,096 matching fund projects worth Sh2.8 billion.

The 15 counties and 66 constituencies have contributed a total of Sh1.088 billion and Sh494 million, respectively, with the contributions matched by Rerec at Sh847 million and Sh395 million, respectively. 

Rerec chief executive officer Rose Mkalama stated that in the last two years, the government has invested over Sh10 billion in rural electrification across the country, a testament to the government’s commitment to open up rural areas for social and economic development.

As the body mandated to spearhead Kenya’s renewable energy drive, in addition to implementing rural electrification projects, Dr Mkalama said Rerec continues to implement projects countrywide to enhance rural electrification in Kenya, thus improving the livelihoods of the people and contributing to the nation’s overall development. 

“These efforts align with the national economic development blueprint Vision 2030, and the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda championed by President William Ruto,” said Dr Mkalama.