On Friday, public power utility Kenya Power announced that it has surpassed the one million target for new connections that the company was tasked to meet by December.
Managing director Ben Chumo told local media – The Star – that he is confident the figures are still yet to rise once the Last Mile project gains momentum.
The Last Mile project is a government initiative established to expand affordable and efficient electricity access across remote, indigent communities in the east African region.
Kenya Power connection figures
The latest connection figures supplied by the power distributor showed 1,087,829 new customers have been connected since January, bringing the total number of grid connections across the country to 4,078,250.
Chumo said: “The government had said we need to connect a million people between January and December. We have already connected more than a million and the figure was 1,087, 829 on Thursday.”
The numbers show the connections have been evenly distributed across Central, Nairobi, Rift Valley, Coast, Western, Eastern and Nyanza regions.
According to Chumo, the Last Mile, which is divided into three phases, is yet to kick off in earnest.
The programme is funded by the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank with a total amount of Sh43.5 billion ($42.5 million).
Chumo highlighted that the AfDB has sponsored phase one and three with grants of Sh13.5 billion ($97.6 million) and Sh15 billion ($13.2 million) respectively, while the World Bank has provided a further Sh15 billion ($13.2 million) grant for phase two.
More connections coming up
Chumo also revealed that Kenya Power will soon be visiting communities to connect all unconnected households within a transformer even if they do not have the connection fees.
“Under the Last Mile, customers will be paying Sh15, 000 and if you don’t have the cash, we will give you a loan to be paid over 36 months. We expect Kenyans to take advantage of this facility and get connected as fast as possible under phase one.
“We have gone ahead to procure a consultant for phase one as required by AfDB and we signed a contract a few days ago. We have also recommended 11 contractors to participate in the competitive bidding for the last mile,” he said.
Chumo said that one contractor will be supplying pre-pay meters, while the rest will be extending the lines from the transformers.
“We have signed contracts with four contractors and they are expected to start the work immediately,” he said.
He said the World Bank loan for phase two will be used to secure additional transformers to replace 50,000 ageing transformers currently in the electricity network.