A recognition for lighting up the rural Kenya
Posted by African Press International on May 31, 2012
- Thomas Ochieng reporting from Kenya
The Kenya rural Electrification Authority awarded ISO Certification for its effort in connecting t the rural areas in Kenya to the national electricity grid.
In 1973 the Kenyan government a young nation having attained its self-rule from the British, embarked on a massive infrastructural undertakings, one being the development of energy infrastructure particularly in the rural areas to match the growing demand buoyed by a growing population. The project was known as the Rural Electrification programme. Although a noble project the rural electrification recorded very little gain for decades until the year 2006 when the Rural Electrification Authority was established by an Act of parliament with the express mandate of acceleration of both the access and penetration of electricity in the rural areas.
The Authority has lightened a big part of rural Kenya which has superseded expectations This achievement by this body led to its attainment of the ISO 90001:2008 certification from the country’s official testing body the Kenya Bureau of Standards KEBS.
Speaking during the official launch of the certification in Nairobi the Assistant minister for energy Amb.Mahmud Mohamed commended the REA board, management and staff for the energy passion and drive they have pushed the agenda of lighting up rural areas in Kenya “The attainment of the certification is the culmination of a long and rigorous process that has taken many years of hard work and commitment to the laid down goal and objectives of your institution” Said Amb. Mahmud. Adding that the government was looking forward to the institution to carry out its full mandate of lighting up the rural areas in the shortest time possible.
From the year 2003 to date Rural Electrification Authority has connected 15,000 public facilities down from 1729,this accounting for 72% of the 25,427 public facilities targeted in the rural areas in Kenya, with the remaining 7,173 to be connected to the national grid in the next two years.
Prior to the establishment of the Rural Electrification Authority the Kenyan new government had put funds in the monopolistic parastatal the Kenya Power and Lighting company but the realized that the said institution could not adequately cater for the huge demand of electricity in the rural areas hence the formation of the utility company.
The chief executive of the Rural Electrification Authority Mr.Zachary Ayieko laid down a road map of achieving 100% connectivity in the rural eras in three faces by the year 2030 “firstly we intend to achieve a 100% access of electricity by connecting all public institution by the year 2013, thereby providing connection to house holds by the year 2030”Said Mr. Ayieko, adding that access to electricity is the overall short-term goal that will be achieved in a year time.
Since 1973 the rural electrification programme has spent Ksh.48 billion of which a whooping Ksh.41 billion being spent from 2003 to date. This huge spending underscores the priority the current administration resolve to light up the rural areas to spur economic activities in the rural settings in Kenya.