Counties Energy and Petroleum

Power agencies put on notice over schools’ connectivity

By George Agimba – Kna Migori

Pressure is mounting on two power agencies in Migori County following their delay in supplying primary schools with reliable power.

Kenya Power Company and her sister company, Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC) came under heavy criticism today for compromising efforts to promote digital learning within local primary schools.

The Committee of the area development implementation and coordination led by Chairman Joseph Rotich said it was clear that some schools were not using the digital learning kits supplied to them three years ago because of unreliable power supply to the institutions.

Speaking during the committee’s sitting in Migori, Mr. Rotich who is also the county commissioner warned that time has come when individual government officers would be held responsible for their failures to adequately guide their departments and agencies to offer good services to the public.

“We need not put road blocks on the way of government programmes and projects because of our inept ways of handling issues in our offices,” said Mr. Rotich who was flanked by the county director of the presidential delivery unit (PDU) Mr. Melchizedek Onguso.

During the meeting, where various national government development projects worth billions of shillings were discussed, the local REREC coordinator Mr. Vincent Onyango was hard pressed to explain why the company was delaying to procure over 36 transformers to connect learning institution to power.

However, the officer could not give a substantive timeline when the process of connecting power to unsupplied schools would be complete, only blaming strict bureaucracy for the problems dogging power connectivity efforts in the country.

Mr. Onguso however, said it was the aim of the government to give the best services in order to win the trust of tax payers.

“Members of the public must get value for their money used in implementing projects in their areas and so such projects must be done as per the stipulated time to benefit the would-be beneficiaries,” Mr. Onguso stressed.

The director said Kenya power and REREC must therefore work hand in hand to ensure that all schools in the area are connected to power lines in order to make DLP in the region a success.

It emerged during the meeting that 617 schools out of the total 625 in the region are connected to power but are frequently experiencing supply hitches arising from faulty transformers, delayed procurement of new transformers and theft of power transmission cables.

The meeting also discussed the progress of work on the Masara-Sori, Motemorabu-Mabera- Masaba and Isebania-Kehancha-Lolgorian roads currently under construction to the tune of over Sh12 billion.