Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir hinted at a strategic shift in the allocation of electricity resources to give priority to regions like Turkana, which make substantial contributions to the national grid, on par with urban areas.
During a Senate hearing on Wednesday, Turkana Senator James Lomenen raised concerns about persistent blackouts in power generation hubs like Lodwar and Loima, seeking an explanation for why these areas, despite their energy production, continue to experience unreliable power supply.
“It’s a paradox. The Turkwel Hydroelectric Power Station and Lake Turkana Wind Power stand nearby, yet other parts of the country enjoy power sourced from here. We, on the other hand, remain in darkness.” Senator Lomenen posed.
“The Turkwel Hydroelectric Power Station and Lake Turkana Wind Power stand nearby, yet other parts of the country enjoy power sourced from here. We, on the other hand, remain in darkness.” the Senator further stated.
A photo of the Olkaria II geothermal power plant
Responding to the matter, CS Chirchir acknowledged that the problem stemmed from one of the generators experiencing a malfunction, rendering it incapable of meeting the power demands of the region.
The Cabinet Secretary said the government has initiated the process to secure a replacement but lamented the prolonged and cumbersome tendering process.
“We had anticipated the installation of the new generator before the commencement of Senate Mashinani, but procedural hurdles have slowed the process. We must adhere to established rules,” the CS explained.
The Energy Cabinet Secretary further revealed plans to address regions still unconnected to the national power grid and adjusting of appropriate voltages to facilitate supply to underserved areas.
In particular, he highlighted the 220KV line in Loyangalani, Marsabit, and Isiolo as focal points for imminent reticulation.
These regions, along with their local communities, he assured, will soon enjoy the benefits of a reliable power supply.
This came even as CS Chirchir, earlier this month was summoned by the Senate over the longest power blackout experienced in the country that led to huge losses to various businesses.
Kenya Power engineers carry out repairs at a power sub-station in Mombasa County in 2018