Homes located along power wayleaves to get free electricity as Kenya moves to light up rural areas

This Ketraco hopes would help people leaving along way leaves to appreciate the benefits of power lines.

Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) is set to begin to offer free electricity connection in a move aimed at minimising costly conflicts with landowners.

Ketraco managing director Fernandes Barasa, says homes where the lines pass will get electricity in partnership with the Rural Electrification Authority besides cash compensation packages.

“The plan is that when we have financing for the whole project, we also have a corresponding financing for rural electrification so that the locals also feel part and parcel of the bigger benefits of the big lines,” Mr Barasa told a local business daily.

This Ketraco hopes would help people leaving along way leaves to appreciate the benefits of power lines, thus reducing resistance and costly compensation in getting the said wayleaves.

The electricity company spends millions of  shillings annually compensating land houses to give way for the power lines.

“One of the biggest challenges we are facing is wayleave acquisition where landowners are demanding exorbitant compensations as much as 10 times the market value.” He said.

The rural electrification project is being piloted on the proposed high-voltage 93.1-kilometre Isinya-Namanga line whose construction deal was last October awarded to North China Power Engineering Company.

The 400 kiloVolt (kV) line — set for completion by the end of 2019 — will cost $26.67 million (Sh2.69 billion), co-funded by the African Development Bank ($22.42 million) and the government ($4.25 million).

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