Last mile connectivity gets boost

Africa Development Bank injects Sh1.5 billion into electricity project

Africa Development Bank (AfDB) has released $15 million (Sh1.5 billion) to support phase two of the Last Mile project and $40 million (Sh4 billion) to Menengai Geothermal Project for construction of a power plant.

Speaking in Nakuru during the launch of the second phase of the Last Mile project, Energy Cabinet secretary Charles Keter said the amount will support the government’s objective for universal connectivity by 2020.

Keter said the project will enable the government to realise its objective on improving the livelihoods of all Kenyans, especially those living in low-income areas.

AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina said with the $15 million (Sh15 billion) towards the project and another $15 million, the bank will now have contributed a total of $30 million (Sh30 billion).

At the end of the project in 2020 more than 600,000 Kenyan households will be connected to electricity with 314,000 targeted in the initial phase.

Adesina said the bank was happy with the work done by the government in enhancing connectivity adding that they will double funds to the Last Mile project to spur economic development across the country.

“I commend the Kenya government for improving life by availing electricity to its people. Not having electricity has bad consequences on education, health and quality of life. It is not possible to develop in the dark,” said Adesina.

The Last Mile project is jointly funded by the Government of Kenya, AfDB and World Bank.

Adesina said the bank will provide $40 million to assist the Menengai Geothermal project construct a power plant that will generate 35 megawatts.

Geothermal Development Company (GDC), a player in the Menengai project, managing director Johnson ole Nchoe said the initiative is set to start operations in by September 2018.

There are two more independent power producers (IPPs) expected to attain financial closure with financiers. All the three IPPs are expected to generate a cumulative of 105 MW.

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