Lighting a Bright Future

High speed electric cars zoom overhead on suspended rails. Brightly lit streets and pathways in cities all over the country, on which thousands of Kenyans safely make their way to their various destinations no matter the hour. Instantaneous global communication and 24 hour electricity being available to each and every household from the villages to the megacities, all attributing to the exponential growth in opportunity and economic prosperity. These were all a dream once, a dream that seemed unattainable; too far from the reach of our hands. However, through the efforts of the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), our dreams are becoming eventualities, separated from the present only by time.

Taking a walk through the rugged and uneven paths that crisscross one of the largest informal settlements in East Africa, Kibera, you can plainly see the positive changes brought about by KPLC. The numerous cement electricity poles erected throughout the settlement are a visual sign of the Shs. 1.2 billion Slum Electrification Project, through an agreement with the World Bank Global Partnership Output Based Aid (GPOBA) that has already seen close to 20,000 electricity connections in various informal settlements and low-income regions in the country including Marachi in Busia County; Obunga, Nyalenda, Kaloleni and Bandani in Kisumu County; Amalemba in Kakamega County, Kiumba in Rusinga Island and six landing beaches in Mfangano Island. You may have a glimpse of the local youth donning the characteristic blue and yellow uniform of KPLC as they carry and erect the electricity poles and set up the transformers that will serve households and businesses in the area; the project being a source of employment and a source of income to the many unemployed youth in such settlements.

Recently KPLC has undertaken many steps to ensuring the provision of safe, legal and affordable power to all. Through joined efforts with the World Bank who have offered over 457 million dollars for the Kenya Electricity Modernization Project, more Kenyans are benefitting from access to electricity with both new and existing customers enjoying better quality of electricity services. KPLC is also partnering with Safaricom in offering Okoa Stima, a service that allows both pre-pay and post-pay customers to receive tokens and extend their electricity connection on credit that is paid at a later date.

KPLC, in accordance with their mission, ‘Powering people for better lives’, is taking Kenya closer to achieving goals of economic prosperity and improved livelihoods for all citizens. Through its efforts, a little child in Kaloleni is able to read at night and get an education, a woman in Kibera is able to set up a local tailoring business that provides her with a means of raising a family, a teacher in Busia can use electronic methods to better explain concepts to her eager students. By lighting up Kenya we are lighting up innovative ideas to drive our country forward; we are lighting hope in the hearts of every person in the country; we are lighting a brighter future.