Tharaka residents concerned over high cost of power connection

Tharaka residents concerned over high cost of power connection

Residents of Mukothima in Tharaka constituency in Tharaka Nithi County have expressed concern over the high cost of power connection calling the relevant authorities to intervene.

Some claim to have been given quotes of more than 15,000 shillings connection fee announced by the government for the last mile connectivity project.

However, according to Kenya Power, the company has been targeting 314,200 new households to the national grid by optimizing 5,320 transformers under the first phase of the last mile project and a similar number under the second phase at a cost of 15,000 shillings per connection.

The government rolled out the first phase of the last mile project in 2015 targeting to connect 314,200 new households at a subsidized cost of 15,000 shillings by optimizing 5,320 transformers that were being under-utilized.

The cost of connection was reducing by more than half from the previous 35,000 shillings and was targeting at those households within 600 meters radius from an existing power transformer.

This in addition to the second phase of the last mile project as well as one financed by the World Bank targeting to connect 312,500 new households by either adding or optimizing about 1,000 transformers was expected to help connect one million households.

This was to help Kenya Power connect 70 percent of Kenyans by end of this year and have even household and business connected by the year 2020.

However, residents of Mukothima in Tharaka constituency in Tharaka Nithi County claim the bills being quoted for them are higher than the recommended 15,000 shillings announced by the government for those living within the 600 meter radius of an existing transformer.

In addition, they claim the power connection process is not transparent.

They are calling on relevant authorities to take up the matter.

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