Kenya’s electricity distributor on Thursday signed contract deals to implement the Ksh 29.5 billion (US$285 million) energy projects funded by the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Kenya Power CEO Ken Tarus told a media briefing in Nairobi that the state-owned firm signed a total of 23 agreements with contractors for the Last Mile Connectivity Project.

“Under the agreements, we hope to help Kenya achieve universal electricity access by 2020, up from the current 70% electricity connectivity rate,” Tarus said.

The contractors have 18 months to complete the exercise of connecting households with electricity. He said that the project is expected to address the high cost of extending the power supply network especially in the rural and low-income areas.

World Bank has provided a loan of Ksh 15.5 billion (US$150 million) while AfDB will provide Ksh 14 billion (US$135 million) to connect low income households to the national electricity grid.

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Tarus said financing from the AfDB will help additional 314,200 households access electricity while the World Bank will help to light up 312,500 homes.

He said the project will involve extension of low voltage network on existing transformers as well as installation of 1,000 new distribution transformers across 47 counties.

Through the intensive implementation of various connectivity strategies targeting informal and low-income areas, Kenya Power has grown its customer base by 1.4 million households in the last financial year.

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