Nairobi, Kenya — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 20 September 2011 – Kenya’s sole power distributor Kenya Power “’ responsible for the transmission, distribution and retail of electricity throughout the country “’ has revealed that it intends to raise the fuel surcharge levied on tariffs next month, placing more upward pressure on prices in the region’s biggest economy.

Citing a legal notice in the Kenya Gazette, government publication Business Daily said the fuel cost segment of power tariffs would rise by 22.4% to 8.2 shillings.

Reuters reports that the battered shilling “’ and heavy reliance on diesel-powered generators to produce electricity due to low water levels in the country’s hydro-electric dams “’ have sparked a steady rise in the fuel surcharge this year.

Concerns about inflation “’ which rose for the 10th month in succession in August to a higher-than-expected 16.67% “’ have driven the shilling lower and prompted a spike last month in inter-bank lending rates.

Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels carry an 18.3% weighting in the basket of goods used to measure overall price growth. The new charges are expected to take effect in October.

Chronic power blackouts and higher electricity bills in Kenya are fuelling anger ahead of next year’s presidential election, as they push up living costs and cast doubts on the government’s ability to fully implement its long-term economic vision.