Kenya Power's Electronic Efforts

Kenya Power has made notable steps towards electrifying Kenya in recent years. Gone are the days electricity in homes was a reserve for urban residents and the Kenyan upper class, thanks to Kenya Power efforts. Electricity is now at arm's length of any Kenyan resident.

Growing up in the rural setting, I always believed electricity was this mythical resource, a service reserved for urban residents, until Kenya Power embarked on its rural electrification process. That was back in 2006. A considerable number of the population was connected to power and at a cheap cost too. This was a huge step for both Kenya Power and the beneficiaries.

The newly found power access meant residents could now start businesses that needed electricity to operate. Businesses like hair salons became a source of income for some residents, while individuals and families could now use electronic home appliances like iron boxes and water heaters that made life easier considering the relatively low cost of electricity consumption as opposed to use of firewood to cook and other preexisting energy sources, not to mention more environmentally friendly. However, the cost of accessing electricity was still extremely high for majority of the people in rural areas and informal settlements in urban areas, until earlier in the year, when Kenya Power announced its partnership with the WorldBank, aimed at subsidising the cost of electrification in slums, rural and marginalised areas.

With contributions from both the World Bank and Kenya Power, new consumers looking to gain access to power connectivity will be required to cover only a small portion of the cost in order to enjoy Kenya Power's services. A commendable step indeed, considering even the lower class will be able to afford electricity. Kenya Power, in association with the World Bank, will foot the majority of the cost, Ksh. 32 480. The remainder, Ksh. 1 160, is within the reach of a considerable number of the population and should not be difficult to obtain.

With this endeavor, Kenya Power aims at connecting 150 000 homes and businesses, already having over 19 000 connections under its belt. The future can only get brighter with the current efforts and Kenya Power's underway plans.

This comes at a time Kenya Power has unveiled a wide array of ways for clients to submit their payments, both prepaid and postpaid. Clients can make their payments at the Kenya Power offices or at Huduma Centers located all over the country. Alternatively, they can submit payments through various banks and also via mobile money transfer systems such as M-Pesa. Availability of all these different payment methods means consumers from all parts of the country will have an easy time remitting payments as they choose the method most convenient for them.

These efforts by Kenya Power have created a huge impact in Kenyans' lives. New businesses have emerged and the electrification of homes in slums, marginalized and rural areas has enabled residents of such zones to enjoy the use of electricity which is cheaper and more efficient.

The progress made thus far, though truly remarkable, is far from enough and a lot of work still has to be done to ensure all Kenyan residents benefit from Kenya Power's services. With the current pace Kenya Power has set though, widespread electrification in target areas which have low power connectivity will soon be able to enjoy the service enjoyed by other Kenyans and conveniently so.