23 March 2017

East Africa: Lamu, Tana River to Benefit From Sh15.9b Solar Power Project

Lamu and Tana River are among 14 energy "underserved" counties set to benefit from a Sh15.9 billion solar power project this year.

The Kenya-Off-grid Solar Access Project, which is fully funded by the World Bank, seeks to connect 430,000 off-grid households in the 14 counties.

The project's main target is to increase access to energy services in all the specific underserved counties.

Addressing journalists in his office on Thursday, Lamu Governor Issa Timamy confirmed that the respective county governors had met with the World Bank over the planned solar project.

Mr Timamy revealed that Lamu and Tana River counties would have 46,695 homes covered with solar power.

The project, he said, also intends to ensure 15 secondary schools and 121 Level 2 and 3 health clinics in Lamu and Tana River counties get solar power.

He said 18 county ward administrators and assistant county commissioners offices are among the beneficiaries of the solar power connections in the two counties.

According to Mr Timamy, 95 solar pumping systems are also expected to be established in the region.

Pump water

The project also intends to provide solar power to the water sector so that places where residents rely on generators to pump water will be replaced with solar power.

"A place like Kiwayu in Lamu East where the county has a water project powered by a diesel engine will now be substituted with solar which is cheaper.

"I am confident that the project, once complete, will make water more accessible to our communities," said Mr Timamy.

The project will involve establishing of mini-grid and micro-grid sites that will generate the solar power.

The power will then be supplied to the various destinations including to homes and to the water sector.

A total of 22 mini-grid sites in Lamu and Tana River counties will be established.

Implementers of the World Bank project include the Kenya Power, Rural Electrification Authority (REA) and the County governments.

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