While the government’s plan to connect all Kenyans to electricity is laudable, it must be done with due attention to the beneficiaries’ economic ability to pay. It should also be in tandem with a keen eye on Kenya Power’s economic soundness.
The government has launched another multi-billion shilling programme that is aimed at ramping up electricity connections among poor households. This is despite harsh economic realities that have left distributor Kenya Power with more than 800,000 non-active customers in the first phase.
The power distributor has been under financial pressure after many households connected to the grid failed to consume power and pay bills.
Under the Kenya National Electrification Strategy, the goal is to have every household connected to electricity by 2022.
Thus while over five million households will be connected to the national grid in the next four years under a Sh270 billion plan, it would be prudent to ensure that the recipients are capable of paying their bills.
The final phase of the mass power connections should ensure that power consumers pay for consumption.