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State sets aside Sh42 billion for electricity connection

Business
 PS Alex Wachira and Mbeere North MP Geoffrey Ruku assist technicians erect a power post at Cianthia village in Mbeere North. [Muriithi Mugo, Standard]

Energy Principal Secretary Alex Wachira has said the government is fast-tracking efforts to ensure that all Kenyans are connected to power by 2030.

Speaking during the launch of Cianthia village rural electrification project in Mbeere North, Embu county, Wachira announced that the government through the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum has set aside Sh42 billion this year for electricity connection across the country.

He said the government was working to light up the entire country and urged residents to protect power installations against vandalism that costs the ministry Sh5 billion annually.

The PS urged the people to voluntarily give wayleave for power lines.

"My appeal also to those living along the power lines, please help us to trim the trees because they are the major causes of the blackouts when they fall on our lines," Wachira said.

The Rerec Regional Manager Mt Kenya Fredrick Nyamai said the rural electrification will see approximately 400 beneficiaries connected to the national grid at a cumulative cost of Sh54 million.

Mbeere North MP Geoffrey Ruku said that 684 villages do not have power and the entire constituency requires more than 300 transformers

Ruku was optimistic that the rural electrification through 'Utheri Mashinani' Programme will help to improve education standards and the business environment.

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Mbeere North with a population slightly over 110,000 has 29,483 households where less than 10 per cent are connected to electricity.

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