Kenya Power will see its funding for the Last Mile Connectivity Project doubled as African Development Bank (AfDB) extends its support towards the Government – driven initiative for universal connectivity by 2020.
AfDB has given Kenya USD 15 million for Phase One of the Last Mile project and will add a similar amount of money for the second phase, bringing the total to USD30 million (approximately Kshs.30 billion). Both fundings will see over 600,000 Kenyan households connected to electricity with 314,000 targeted in the initial phase.
“We are happy with the work done by the Government in enhancing connectivity for Kenyan citizens from the funds we have advanced to the country. We will double our funds to implement the project to spur economic development across the country,” said the President of AfDB, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina.
Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Hon. Charles Keter, said “we are grateful for the commitment by AfDB to double funding for the project as it will support the government’s objectives for universal connectivity by 2020. This is a vote of confidence in Kenya Power.”
Dr. Adesina and Hon. Keter were speaking in Rongai, Nakuru County, during the launch of the second phase of the project.
“The project will improve the livelihoods of all Kenyans, especially for those living in low-income areas because the government has subsidized the cost of facilitating an electricity connection,” Hon. Keter added.
The CS expressed gratitude to the African Development Bank (AfDB) for its combined efforts with the government to fund the project that has made electricity more affordable which has consequently assisted residents from the grassroots to appreciate electricity as a basic need and not a luxury.
“I want to commend the Kenyan Government for improving life through availing electricity to the people. Not having electricity has bad consequences on education, health, and quality of life. It is not possible to develop in the dark,” said Dr. Adesina.
The project is jointly funded by the Government of Kenya, the AfDB, and the World Bank. Since its implementation in May 2015, electricity access in Nakuru county has increased by 45% and over one million customers have access to electricity in the county.
Economically, the project has accelerated job creation as some beneficiaries have created small businesses such as hair salons and welding shops to improve their financial independence and well-being.