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Meru to build power plants to boost trade, connect locals

Wednesday December 04 2019
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Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi (right) and Meru Economic and Social Council (MESC) Chairman Francis Muthaura during public participation on the Meru Vision 2040 draft. The county plans to set up a local power system as part of its plans to boost business. PHOTO | GITONGA MARETE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By GITONGA MARETE

The Meru County government plans to set up a local power system as part of its plans to boost business and provide electricity to all residents by 2040.

To achieve this, it plans to build solar and wind power plants through public-private partnerships to ensure that there is enough energy to drive development projects.

There are also plans to revamp the various airstrips and build railway lines linking Meru and other counties to ease transport and link the agriculturally-rich region with markets throughout the country.

BLUEPRINT

These plans are contained in the county’s Vision 2040 blueprint, which will be officially launched on Thursday at the Kenya Methodist University (KeMU). It will guide the county’s development for the next 20 years.

“Infrastructure is a critical anchor of development. The strategic objective is to accelerate productivity and profitability of all sectors through access to sustainable and affordable infrastructure for the purpose of realising the overall vision,” the document says.

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“The main goal in the energy sector is to improve access to clean and sustainable energy by investing in a good mix of energy sources such as wind and solar, as well as investing in underground cabling power distribution infrastructure,” it adds.

FOUR PILLARS

The document provides the road map for development through four pillars: economic, political, social and enablers, with a projected annual growth of 15 per cent.

The Meru Economic and Social Council (MESC), the county’s top decision-making organ, has already endorsed the document.

MESC brings together professionals from the county and is chaired by former Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura.

Mr Simon Mordue, the European Union’s ambassador to Kenya, will be the chief guest at the launch, to be attended by all leaders and residents’ representatives from across the county, Governor Kiraitu Murungi said.

“The document has been under development over the past two years and after the launch, we will kick start its implementation, which will transform the county,” Mr Murungi said in an interview.

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