The Belgium Government will fund the Last Mile County Connectivity Project to a tune of Ksh2.4 billion, following the signing of a financing agreement between the two countries. The pact was signed by the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Didier Reynders and National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich.
The move will see more counties connected to the national power grid. The Last Mile Connectivity Project is a combination of Government of Kenya and donor funded programme, aimed at increasing electricity access to non-commercial households.
The project was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta as an initiative geared towards increasing electricity connection and access. The Head of State also launched the National Primary Schools Electrification Programme and announced that over 22,000 schools have been connected to electricity, from 8,203 in 2013.
Over the last two years, there has been an increase of over one million new customers connected to Kenya Power, raising the total number of customers to more than 3.3 million – representing a growth of 46 per cent.
The Government early this year announced that the cost of power connection will reduce to KSh15,000 from Ksh35,000 to speed up the Government’s agenda to have at least 70 per cent of the Kenyan households connected to electricity by 2017.
According to Kenya Power, those who cannot pay the KSh15,000 at once will still get connected and have the option of making payment by installments through their bills. The decision to reduce the cost of installation was reached after the progress that his Government had achieved in increasing power generation and is aimed at allowing all Kenyans access electricity.
By 2017, it is expected that 70 per cent of Kenyans will have access to electricity, translating to more productivity and creating more jobs. Currently, only 35 per cent of Kenyan households are connected to electricity.