By Regina Manyara
NAIROBI, The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO) is seeking funding to finance the completion of power projects in northeastern Kenya, says its acting Chief Executive Officer, Fernandez Baraza.
Once the funds are available, two power line connections will be set up from Garsen to Bura and from Garissa to Wajir through Habawein, thus connecting Garissa for the first time to the national power grid. Currently the better part of northeastern Kenya is powered by generators.
Power demand in Kenya is rising considerably, fueled by the country’s rapid economic growth. This rising demand, combined with insufficient investment in new generation capacity, could result in blackouts during peak hours as well as unreliable supply of electricity.
Despite efforts by the government to increase power generation capacity, 60 per cent of Kenyans, especially in the rural areas, are yet to be connected to the national grid.
The northeastern region is the most affected, with less than 10 per cent of its population connected to the national grid.
The completion of the Garissa power sub-station projected in March this year is expected to reduce the cost of power within Garissa and its environs which are currently powered by generators that are expensive.
Local leaders have urged residents to support the construction of the Garissa power sub-station as well as to shun divisive politics which could affect the successful completion of the project.