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New power line a game-changer for Lake region

OPINION
By Fernandes Barasa | July 18th 2021
KETRACO chairman Capt. Joe Mutambu leads a team of engineers in inspection of the construction works going on at Kibos area on Olkaria- Lessos- Kisumu transmission line project [Kepher Otieno, Standard]

The Lake Victoria Regional Economic Block (LREB) has a huge potential to achieve accelerated industrialisation and economic growth. Towards this dream, a new strategic power transmission line will inject reliable, efficient and available energy.

The Olkaria – Lessos – Kisumu transmission line Project was energised on June 17th 2021, after its continuity and soundness were crosschecked. The commissioning of Kibos – Mamboleo 132kv double circuit line section was carried out on June 25th, thereby fully connecting the two substations and enabling the flow of 100MW of power from Olkaria to Kisumu.

The new power transmission line to Western Kenya will help transform the region into a competitive production area. The line will stabilise the national grid, and impact the region’s economy.

This will catapult realisation of Vision 2030, the country’s blueprint. The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) has made steady progress on her mandate of expanding the national grid. The total wayleave width for OLK Lot 1 is 60m wide and 40m wide for Lot 2. The Sh18 billion project is jointly funded by Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) and the government.

The LREB within the 14-member county governments will be assured of industrialisation and improved quality of life for its residents.

The counties set to draw direct and indirect benefits from the power line are Bomet, Bungoma, Busia, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Kericho, Kisii, Kisumu, Migori, Nandi, Siaya, Trans-Nzoia and Vihiga.

The region’s estimated population of at least 10 million (2019 population census), which is about 25 per cent of Kenya’s total population, have had to contend with unreliable power for years.

Half of this population are youth aged between 15 and 35, a strong indicator of the region’s economic potential. With an active population whose labour can be channelled into economically productive activities, provision of reliable electricity is will be a key intervention.

The Seaport in Kisumu will enjoy reliable power supply through this project. The reliable power supply will support special economic zones within the block and create the much-needed job opportunities

-The writer is the Ketraco Managing Director.

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