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More slum dwellers to benefit from electrification programme

Kenya Power is targeting to connect at least 150,000 residents in informal settlements to the national power grid in a new partnership with the World Bank.

Already, the World Bank has pumped in some Sh 2.1 billion in the project that has been dubbed Slum Electrification projects currently being implemented in various parts of the country.

Kenya Power Managing Director Dr Ben Chumo said an agreement with the bank’s Global Partnership Output Based Aid (GPOBA), the program will see them receive an initial Sh 1.2billion grant that will be used as a subsidy for eligible electricity connections in informal settlements,

“The project was mooted with the aim of providing safe, legal and affordable power connection to people living in informal settlements and other low-income regions,” Dr Chumo said.

He spoke at Nubia area, an informal settlement in Kisii town that that has now been connected to the national grid under the project.

He said those to benefit from the project will be connected to the grid at subsidized rates of about Sh1,160.

INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS

The World Bank through GPOBA will contribute Sh 19,350, while Kenya Power will give Sh 11,970 per connection making up the standard capital contribution of Sh 32,480 per connection

Dr Chumo however urged those to benefit from the program to utilize the power best through jua kali and various business ventures.

“There are a lot of things that can be done to generate income and sustain yourselves instead of just using the electricity for lighting and household purposes only,” Dr Chumo said.

The programme he said also targets informal settlements and low income areas in West Region including Marachi in Busia County; Obunga, Nyalenda, Kaloleni and Bandani in Kisumu County; Amalemba in Kakamega County, Kiumba in Rusinga Island and six landing beaches in Mfangano Island.

Dr Chumo said the company will benefit from the displacement of illegal electricity vendors in informal settlements who cause the company to incur heavy commercial losses due to electricity theft.

“Illegal connections have been the cause of electrocutions and slum fires, which have been on the increase in the recent past, getting people on a grid that is recognized and ordered is good for the safety of the people,” he added