Kenya Power has said it has closed applications for electricity connections following a declaration by President Uhuru Kenyatta that all households be connected to electricity at a subsidized fee.
Kenya Power managing director Ben Chumo said there was no need to make applications since the decree by the President means that all homes will be connected without having to apply.
He also asked people living 600 metres from transformers to be patient as they will benefit from the subsequent phases in the programme.
“You know, application is like requesting to be connected. But already, the government has offered to connect everyone. There is therefore no need for applications,” said Dr Chumo.
During the Madaraka day celebrations, Mr Kenyatta directed that the cost of connecting to electricity be dropped from Sh35,000 to Sh15,000 to ease access.
The President said he had commissioned 40,000 transformers in a project that will end up lighting every village of the country.
“And even that smaller sum can be paid in installments, so that every Kenyan has the power he needs to improve and to prosper by investing in enterprises that add value,"
WITHIN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS
He said the project complements the school electrification programme, under which every primary school in the republic will have electricity within the next few months.
Dr Chumo said they had surveyed regions across the country to determine where transformers would be placed.
He said applicants will now identify a transformer that is 600 or less metres from their homes and notify the engineers when the installation begins.
The first phase of connection will begin in September through distribution of 5,320 transformers. It will take 18 months.
“All we are asking now is that those who will not benefit from the first connection should wait because phase two is coming,” he said in an interview.
Dr Chumo said Kenyans who are unable to pay will be given a grace period of up to 36 months to ensure that the poor are not left out in the electrification process.
Dr Chumo said the country requires nearly 100,000 transformers in order to sufficiently provide power. The government intends to connect 1.5 million Kenyans to electricity by the year 2019.
He said those who had been given quotations earlier should ignore them and use the new rates.
He also said they are working on ways of reducing the high number of unexpected blackouts which have been a major disruption to businesses.
“We can find an alternative way so that we don’t have to switch off power when rectifying mistakes,” he said.