By Vivian Wachira
The energy sector is an important drive to industrial growth by providing fuel to power
the rest of the economy. The County Government of Laikipia is committed to ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. The electricity rates in Kenya costs range from 23 Kes to 19 Kes for both households and business connections. These higher electricity costs cause enterprises to incur high energy
costs leading to a high cost of production. Higher operational costs have greatly affected Laikipia manufacturers and enterprises countrywide from competing globally due to different pricing of commodities despite them
producing similar products.
The County Government of Laikipia has therefore prioritized the provision of affordable and reliable energy to their manufacturers in order for them to realize industrialization and also improve their livelihoods. This will lead to low production costs causing increased demand for goods and widening the country’s manufacturing base and reducing the taxation of locally produced items and also reducing the price for consumer goods. To implement a collaborative framework that would guide the role of counties, stage Agencies, and Non-state Agencies, the County Government of Laikipia has called upon Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) to aid in ensuring a smooth running during the construction of the energy infrastructure. “The County Government has digitalized and published all registry index maps, which are readily available upon request. Access to this information would serve as a guide during the construction of energy infrastructure,” said H.E Governor Ndiritu Muriithi. The ongoing projects in Laikipia County according to Kenya Electricity Transmission- Co limited (keTRACO) includes the transmission
line in the following areas, 132KV NanyukiIsiolo 70 km cable, Nanyuki- Rumuruti 132KV 16.8 km cable, and Nanyuki- Isiolo 132KV 5km cable. The benefits of these transmission projects in Laikipia County will include, enhanced electricity access to the whole of Laikipia County, stabilization of voltages by extending the transmission grind which in turn reinforces the distribution lines, and improvement of power quality in Laikipia County and reduced system losses. Ol-Pajeta Conservancy Energy program which was established back in 2014 with the main objective to provide alternative sources of energy like solar energy, energy cookstoves, and solar lion lights has impacted the community positively whereby, 32 stove builders (youths and women) across 18 communities have been trained, 1379 stove cookers have been manufactured and 180 portable stoves have been sold to
the communities in 2021. Chris Kimanga, the County Director, Energy, and Mining, calls upon all stakeholders to subsidize electricity costs, support energy generation and improve electricity access in order to promote manufacturing, job creation, and improve livelihoods among Laikipia residents.
By Vivian Wachira