Spokesperson’s Weekly Briefing, State House, Nairobi, 30th April 2017

On September 20, 2018 In Statements and Speeches

  Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen. Thank you for joining me here for this briefing at State House, Nairobi. Energy Generation in Kenya As you may recall, President Kenyatta on Friday commissioned the 75 MW Olkaria Wellhead as well as oversaw the ground breaking of the 158 MW Olkaria V Power plant. This is a great step towards the transformation of the country’s economy by providing access to affordable energy for all Kenyans. The 75 MW Olkaria Geothermal Wellhead project is made up of 14 wellhead units. These units are a unique innovation success story, which has enabled us to fully adopt early generation of electricity from available geothermal wells using a reliable and affordabletechnology. In the past, we have had to wait for between five and seven years from the time we drill the first well to the time we install large geothermal power plants. This period has been reduced to between two and three years. The ground breaking of the 158 MW Olkaria V Geothermal Power will bring a major geothermal power plant in the country. Kenya has in a short period of time managed to stop power rationing or hiring of expensive emergency thermal power to keep key sectors of our economy functioning during droughts, such as the one Kenya is currently experiencing. The Olkaria V Plant will provide 158MW, 18MW more than a similar plant of 140 MW using a similar amount of steam. Let me take you through a brief history of Geothermal development here in Kenya since the Jubilee Administration took over. Since 2013, there has been accelerated drilling in the Olkaria area as a result of increased investment in the sector. Thereafter, the Olkaria IV and I, generating 280 MW was commissioned in December 2014 and thereafter Olkaria I units 4 and 5, generating a further 140 MW was commissioned in February 2015. In the coming months, a 105 MW Public Private Partnership (PPP) project will be completed, thereby increasing the amount of electricity available to Kenyans at a much cheaper rate. Further afield, I would like to speak to the 310 MW Turkana Wind Project. The 310 MW Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, with an investment of KSHS 70 Billion, is one of largest private investments in Kenya’s history. The wind farm covers 40,000 acres (162 km²) and is located in Loiyangalani District, Marsabit County. The project will provide 310MW of reliable, low cost wind power to Kenya’s national grid for 20 years. On completion, the project will comprise 365 wind turbines each with a capacity of 850 kW. In addition, and complimenting the wind farm, the Jubilee government is currently developing a 428 km, 400kV transmission line that extends from Suswa due north to the Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) site (via Naivasha, Gilgil, Nyahururu, Rumuruti, Maralal and Baragoi). The transmission line will evacuate the much needed power from the wind farm to the national grid at Suswa. Despite initial wayleave challenges, the construction of the transmission line is currently being fast tracked to enable dispatch of the wind farm. Last mile in Nairobi Additionally, let me speak to the Last Mile Connectivity Project in Nairobi County. The Jubilee government has managed under the Last Mile connectivity initiative to connect more than 1,008,022 households to the national grid. This amounts to more than 5.5 million Nairobi residents including those in low-income earning areas being connected to power. The net effect is reducing the cost of lighting through kerosene and firewood. The Jubilee government has also installed more than 22,722 streetlights in Nairobi. This unprecedented lighting of public areas in Nairobi has assisted in the growth of a 24/7 economy in areas like Nairobi West and Eastleigh. It has also assisted in provision of security by enabling the night efficiency of the 3,000 cameras under the urban surveillance system installed by the Jubilee government. Development in Northern Kenya: In terms of devolved funds, the amount of money transferred to Garissa County since 2013 is KSHS 17.68 billion to date, whereas the CDF allocation in the same period stands at 2.28 billion, implying that a large chunk of cash has been available to help grow this county. It is our hope that the Governor and MPs from this region invested the money well in projects that lift the lives of the residents. In relation to the Digital Literacy Programme (DLP), Garissa County has received 1,569 tablets in 31 primary schools. On the Free Maternity Services Programme, there were a total number of deliveries of 41,463 since June 2013. In regards to social inclusion, there have been a total of 8,249 beneficiaries of the Women Enterprise Fund, at a cost of KSHS 51,300,000. In regards to Youth Enterprise Development Fund, a total of 4,792 people have benefitted from the fund, at a cost of KSHS 98,090,119 whereas in relation to the Uwezo Fund, 11,695 people have benefited, this at a cost of KSHS 109,460,000. Monies given in reference to social inclusion improves the livelihood and welfare of these families, guarantees they lead a diplomatic life and promote the growth of SMEs. In Wajir County, the amount of money transferred to Wajir County since 2013 is 22.15 Billion whereas the CDF allocation since President Kenyatta’s Administration came to power is 2.53 Billion. In relation to the Digital Literacy Programme (DLP), Wajir County has received 855 tablets in 11 primary schools. On the Free Maternity Services Programme, there were a total number of deliveries of 43,742since June 2013. In regards to social inclusion, there have been a total of13,809 beneficiaries of the Women Enterprise Fund, at a cost of KSHS KShs 72,050,000. In regards to Youth Enterprise Development Fund, a total of5,421 people have benefitted from the fund, at a cost of KSHS 40,541,406, whereas in relation to the Uwezo Fund, 12,397 people have benefited, this at a cost of KSHS 110,205,000. In Wajir County under the Last Mile Connectivity Programme, there have been 10,971 households and 259 primary schools connected to the National Grid. Several irrigation projects under the State Department of Irrigation are complete and production is ongoing in Wajir County, these include the Installation of Green Houses at Khorof Harar Boreholes, the Aserwerji Water Pan, the Lehele Water Pan, the Burbidan Water Pan, the Wajir East Cluster Irrigation Project, the Allinus Water Pan, the Fadiwien Irrigation Project, the Habaswein Irrigation Project, the Wajir South Cluster Irrigation Project as well as the Mansa Irrigation Project. In Mandera County, the amount of money transferred to Mandera County since 2013 is 27.43 Billion whereas the CDF allocation since President Kenyatta’s Administration came to power is 2.99 Billion. In relation to the Digital Literacy Programme (DLP), Mandera County has received 1,046 tablets in 9 primary schools. On the Free Maternity Services Programme, there were a total number of deliveries of 43,369 since June 2013. In regards to social inclusion, there have been a total of 5,255 beneficiaries of the Women Enterprise Fund, at a cost of KSHS 31,500,000. In regards to Youth Enterprise Development Fund, a total of 3,071 people have benefitted from the fund, at a cost of KSHS 38,399,813, whereas in relation to the Uwezo Fund, 14,646 people have benefited, this at a cost of KSHS 128,298,110. In relation to the Last Mile Connectivity Programme in Mandera County, 7,522 households and 259 primary schools have since been connected to the National Grid. On matters infrastructure, the construction of the Elwak – Wargadud Road, Wargadud – Bambo Road as well as the Bambo – Rhamu Road are currently under construction. Several water pans have been constructed and completed under the stewardship of the Jubilee Administration; theWachudima Water Pan, the Guba Water Pan, the Lehele Water Pan as well as the Burmayo Water Pan. This has effectively increased food security in the County.   Q & A segment Q - View on Political Party primaries, Did Jubilee give more voice to the wananchi? A - Well, I am not a Jubilee Spokesperson and the party’s activities are better addressed to its Secretariat. But, from the President’s perspective, let me say this: The President said, and repeatedly so, that the decision on who he works with, within the party, going into 2017 and beyond would be made by Jubilee members themselves. The citizens must have their say because it matters. You would have noted that right across the country, the party the President leads allowed citizens to make that choice without interference of any kind.  No story of a returning officer and a deputy presenting different results, no funny stories of losers being declared winners. You saw or heard of the political clean up in Kiambu, in Nyeri, or even in Nakuru by citizens themselves. And the President asked the party he leads to show due decorum, hold peaceful primaries, respect the will of the people. And you have heard some of his harshest critics say that was achieved. Democracy is thriving in the party the President leads. Decisions taken and announced at polling centres, as you saw, were allowed to stand. While on the political front, let me comment briefly on stories that have been doing the rounds, peddled by opposition figures – and may I say that these stories are peddled by people who should know better – that somehow they will enact constitutional changes within 90 days of taking office to create three jobs. Making constitutional changes that require a referendum will simply not take three months. It will take years. And considering how citizens have rejected MPs and Governors that they don’t believe have used their resources prudently, they are unlikely ever to agree to spend billions of shillings to create jobs for the three men promised phantom ones. You know, people have agreed to take Jobs that don’t exist … so, one of the opposition leaders was saying in a media interview that the first job for the team will be to use billions of shillings to change the constitution so the three phantom jobs can be legitimised. So, instead of creating wealth, the plan is to abuse existing wealth so three people can get jobs. You know the work the President is doing. Expanding electricity access. Building roads. Building the SGR. Improving access to NHIF. Providing money to the elderly under Inua Jamii programme. You know – for instance – Vihiga County has 16,000 recipients of Inua Jamii. Those are the programmes that will be threatened by suddenly shifting billions to fund a referendum to create phantom jobs for the three people. Money has to come from somewhere to fund this type of activities and the pot is not bottomless. As the President said, the country really cannot afford to spend billions to please the three men, it needs to create jobs for the millions of youth who actually need them.   Manoah Esipisu, MBS Communications Secretary And State House Spokesperson Twitter: @MEsipisu

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