The cost for installation of electricity has been dropped from KSh35,000 down to only KSh15,000 to speed up the Government’s agenda to have at least 70 per cent of Kenyan households connected to electricity by 2017.
And those who cannot pay the KSh15,000 at one go will still get connected and have the option of making payment by instalments through their bills.
President Uhuru Kenyatta made the announcement today when he officially launched the Last Mile Connectivity Project and commissioned the National Schools Electrification Project.
The President said the decision to reduce the cost of installation was reached after the progress that the Government has achieved in increasing power generation and is aimed at allowing all Kenyans access electricity.
President Kenyatta also announced a raft of other measures to increase access to electricity to boost the economy and improve the standard of living for Kenyans.
The President, who spoke at Katulu Primary School where the two simultaneous events were held, said Kenya Power has been instructed to include the option of payment by instalments in their planning.
“We have asked Kenya Power to allow those who cannot pay at once to be connected and they can pay the tariff in instalments through their bills,” said the President.
He said the massive electrification project will change the face of Kenya and transform the economy of the nation.
“By 2017 70 per cent of our people will have access to electricity. This will translate to more productivity and create more jobs,” said the President. Currently, 35 percent of Kenyan households are connected to electricity.
The Last Mile Connenctivity Project also comes with a change of approach at how electricity connections are done.
Whereas Kenyans used to make applications with long procedures in the past, now Kenya Power and the Rural Electrification Authority will come knocking on doors asking Kenyans to allow them to connect their households to electricity.
The agencies will ensure that all households near electricity transformers are connected to power whether the owners have made applications or not.
To increase connectivity, when a resident of a certain area makes a request to be connected, that single application will serve as a basis to install electricity in all neighbouring homes.
The Ministry of Energy has also come up with designs that will enable households that do not have internal wiring in their houses to use electricity by providing a ‘ready board’.
The ready board has switches, sockets and bulb holders and those who do not have wiring in their houses will be able to use electricity soon as they are connected.
The plan also includes increasing the number of installed transformers all over the country and ensuring all households near every transformer are connected.
“Everything we do is aimed at making Kenyans become busy with work, more productive and wealthier,” said President Kenyatta.
On the school’s electrification project, President Kenyatta said all schools in the country will be connected to electricity by next year.
All the 84 primary schools in Matungulu Constituency, where the project was kicked off today, have been connected to electricity and for the first time rural families have got access to electricity.
The access to power is already leading to increased economic activity and the testimony of some of the beneficiaries was screened at the event.
President Kenyatta also toured Katulu Primary School classrooms which have already constructed a safe for Tablets, which will soon be introduced in primary schools.
Deputy President William Ruto said the Government’s plan is to connect one million new customers to electricity each year.
He said the transformations going on in the country will create opportunities for tens of millions to participate in growing the economy.
“I am a proud Kenyan to be at this event and to be in the Jubilee administration,” he said.
Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi said the ministry has already come up with digital content for primary schools.
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua said the initiative by the Jubilee administration to undertake the massive power plans was transformative.
“Wherever their is electricity there is development,” he said.
The Governor his county government will allocated Sh300 million to buy transformers in the next budget and will work closely with the National Government to install them to increase the number of households connected to electricity.
The event was also addressed by Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana and MPs from the region and several from the Coast.