Ministries to answer all questions from the Public
The State House Communications Unit on Wednesday organized the first ever summit between Government and the public.The aim of the summit is to bring the administration, ministries and the people a clearer and more coherent picture of how the ministries are functioning and what they have accomplished so far.
The summit is the first of its kind in Kenya where members of the public interact with the ministry and parastatal heads through all available platforms including emails. They also get a chance to ask questions and give comments regarding the relevant ministries.
President Uhuru Kenyatta participated in the summit and was very pleased by the idea of the summit siting it as very important. “This forum is commendable. Engaging with the public on the fundamental issues of the nation is very important,” said President Uhuru
“I hope that the debate will continue in order to improve every sector,” he added
The summit will be go on in the next few weeks with a focus on each ministry every week. This week started with a focus on the Energy sector, mainly on electricity.
Hools to power, the last mile project, cost of connection and electricity were the highlights of the event. CS Charles Keter spoke extensively on all areas and the progress that has been achieved within the 3year period since 2013.
He assured everyone that there is great improvement in the power generated by the ministry which has gone up from 1700MegaWatts in 2013 to 2400MW, an addition of 600MW.
Most of this power is clean energy from the geothermal power plants across the country mainly solar and wind.This has made the power produced cheaper, more reliable and friendlier to the environment.With regards to the role of power in influencing the competitiveness of the country, President Uhuru said that Kenya is in a much better position to compete in the global market than before.
“Affordable and reliable power that can make us as a country become competitive in the global market,” he said.With the fuel cost down to Kshs 2 , Kenya has become very attractive to investors.
“The energy which we provide should be competitive in order to attract a lot of investment,” added CS Keter.
The reliability of power has greatly increased thanks to the additional 734km of transmission lines that have been put up since 2013. The ministry of energy is also focusing on the Lake Turkana Wind Project to further enhance power reliability in the nation
“We are concentrating on the Turkana wind project and by December 50MW will have been accomplished,” said CS Keter. The N-1 project is being developed to guarantee reliability of power by offering a back up for every region.
55% of the country can now access power up from 27% in 2013 and next year the ministry aims to raise that number to 70%.
Only 8200 schools had access to electricity by 2013 but now 22,245 schools are now connected hence easier connection to neighboring villages.
The President expressed his concerns about people that are constructing substandard schools just to trick the government into bring electricity closer to themselves."There is no need to build classrooms just because you want to get connected to power, we want efficient quality schools for our children,” said the President
“The Last Mile project will remedy this so that every Kenyan regardless of where they are can get connected,” he added. More people can now access being connected to power because the price has reduced from 35,000 to 15,000.
A lot of people raised concern about the prices of electricity generally, be it connection or bills at the end of the month.
The Kenya power CEO, Ben Chumo also spoke during the event insisting that KPLC has undergone significant improvement in cost and tariffs.
The street lighting project which began 8 months ago is targeting 65 towns, 13 of which are county headquarters. So far, 35 towns across the country have been lit. The county governments that have benefited from the project have been tasked with maintaining and paying for the street lights.
“The street lighting project has boosted security and encouraged a 24hr economy,” said CS Keter.
The President said that the private sector has a responsibility to reflect reduced cost of power that comes with reduced cost of commodities used in production.
CS Charles Keter closed the forum by urging consumers to stop encouraging corruption by paying bribes for connection.
“We will focus on integrity and transparency. No shortcuts, do not encourage corruption by paying for illegal connections,” said CS Keter.
“You don’t have to know someone to be connected to electricity. Every Kenyan has equal right access electricity,” he added.
‘Nexus’ is the government newsroom that communicates transformation.
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