In East Africa, state-owned power utility, Kenya Power, has opened a new office in the Elgeyo Marakwet County with efforts to facilitate the delivery of services to the utility’s customers in Iten and surrounding areas.
Kenya Power: expanding power access
Speaking at the official opening, Kenya Power’s managing director and CEO, Dr Ben Chumo, highlighted that this strategic move would expand electricity access to new customers who will be connected through government’s Last Mile project and other connectivity projects.
As a result, this will uplift the local communities and stimulate growth.
Improving power supply
Kenya Power said in a statement that the new premises falls “in line with the company’s current restructuring of its operations, which has seen it create business units at both the county and regional levels that are headed by County Business Managers and Regional Managers respectively.”
The power supply is expected to improve in this region following the commissioning of Cheptongei substation by the County Governor, Hon. Alex Tolgos.
“The 2.5MVA substation will provide additional power supply to the power firm’s 7,500 customers in Cheptongei and its surrounding areas,” Kenya Power said in a statement.
Chumo said that the 33/11kV substation will support the efforts that the utility has put towards meeting the increasing demand for reliable and affordable electricity.
Chumo said: “We have so far connected about 4 million customers nationwide within the last month (3,989,698 as at September 30th) and we are determined to connect one million customers annually in a bid to reach universal access to electricity for the country by 2020.”
As part of Kenya Power’s rehabilitation programme, the Iten substation’s capacity has been upgraded from 2.5MVA to 7.5MVA.
The programme is centered on the maintenance and refurbishment of the power supply system in the Elgeyo Marakwet County.
Chumo said that 500 new customers will be connected to the power system by the end of this week. In addition, the company will construct six new feeders, and replace 400 decayed poles with concrete infrastructure.
Last Mile Connectivity Project
The Last Mile Connectivity Project, is a government initiative established to expand affordable and efficient electricity access across remote, indigent communities in the east African region.
Last year, the AfDB said in a statement that Kenya has a national electricity access rate of 32%. The bank added that this project, which has an initial 314,000 beneficiaries, will significantly uplift the overall well being and living standards of these communities.