Business people have expressed concern about frequent power blackouts in Maua town.
The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Meru chapter, chairman, Kenneth Mwenda, said a potato processing plant, hospitals, shops, offices and other establishments had suffered heavy losses due to the blackouts.
Mr Mwenda, who was accompanied by several business people, said the area needed a power sub-station.
“We have large amounts of bananas, sweet potatoes, miraa and other produce. We have a processing plant where we get flour, bread, crisps and other products from sweet potatoes. They have had to use generators during the outages and this has increased the cost of production,” said Mwenda.
He expressed fears that the 24-hour economy was facing the risk of collapse due to lack of essential amenities.
“Our 24-hour economy cannot grow due to unreliable electricity, water and even roads. We need the county and national government to give us a power sub-station and open up roads in Maua town and surrounding areas,” said Mwenda.
Increase in production of agricultural and other produce has made Maua town a 24-hour economy, but its growth is at risk due to the frequent power outages.
KenGen is planning a Sh7 billion wind power project in Tigania, not far from Maua town.
The project was delayed after disagreements over land ownership.
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The process of issuing title deeds to residents on the nearly 19,000 acres meant for the project stalled after some of them went to court.
The conflict involving residents, the county government and KenGen has yet to be resolved as the matter of compensation for land owners is still pending.