His Excellency President William Ruto officially commissioned the Wasini Island Solar Power Mini-Grid, a project implemented by the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC) The installation marks the first time that the Island villages of Wasini and Mkwiro located in Lungalunga Constituency, Kwale County have been connected to electricity, symbolizing a significant turning point in the lives of the island’s residents.

The commissioning ceremony for the mini grid, held amidst a backdrop of excitement and anticipation, is a significant leap forward for the communities residing on the Island renowned for its pristine beauty and tranquil surroundings. The Island is inhabited by a population of approximately 4,000 people and has been isolated from modern amenities with the absence of electricity posing significant challenges to its inhabitants. The commissioning of the solar power mini-grid is therefore set to change the lives of the island’s residents by providing them with access to reliable and sustainable electricity.

The electrification project is expected to expand the rapidly growing villages, enhance security and spur social economic activities in the area by connecting schools, health facilities, religious institutions, administrative centers and households to electricity.President Ruto, in his address, emphasized the importance of electrification in rural areas, highlighting the Government’s commitment to improving the livelihoods of all Kenyan citizens. “I would like to thank the friends of Kenya who have collaborated with us to implement this project for the benefit of the people of Wasini.

Today, the project that has cost us 350,000 million shillings will be able to electrify 600 households. We want every house here to get electricity and we will ensure that even your schools and fish landing sites are electrified” he said. The Wasini/Mkwiro Solar Power mini-grid will serve as an inspiring example for other underserved communities, highlighting the transformative potential of renewable energy. The plant has a capacity is 737 Kilowatts per hour which will be distributed via an 11.02 Kilometer power distribution line network and 3 transformers.

The solar power plant is supported by a 70Kva standby diesel powered generator. Apart from Wasini Island, electricity mini-grids are also being implemented in Mageta Island in Siaya County, Ngodhe and Takawiri Islands in Homabay County, Kaeris and Kerio markets in Turkana County and Dabel Market in Marsabit County. All these projects are being implemented by the Government of Kenya through REREC under the Kenya Electricity Modernization Project (KEMP) solar mini grids subcomponent, which is a World Bank funded facility aimed at increasing access to electricity in the country in an effort to achieve universal access to energy.

President Ruto was hosted by the REREC Board of Directors led by the Chairman, Mr. Godfrey Lemiso and the management team led by Ag. Chief Executive Officer Dr. Rose Mkalama. Also present were senior Government officials led by the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Petroleum Mr. David Chirchir, Principal Secretary, State Department for Energy, Mr Alex Wachira, the Governor of Kwale County Ms. Fatuma Mohamed Achani and area Member of Parliament Hon. Chiforomodo Mangale Munga among other leaders and residents who expressed their gratitude to President Ruto and REREC for making this long-awaited dream a reality.

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