The government’s data on new electricity connections made in the last five years is untrue and needs clarification.
Last week, Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter stated during a radio interview that Kenya is poised to achieve universal electricity access by 2020. “In 2013 we had 2,264,508 people connected to electricity but currently we have six million,” he said. “This translates to 3.78 million new connections thus increasing the national access rate to 69 per cent.”
CS Keter noted that the number of primary schools connected to the grid further increased from 8,203 in 2013 to 23,547 in 2017 “representing 98.8 per cent coverage.” The last mile connectivity project was meant to connect the country’s poorest residents living within 600 meters of a transformer to electricity.
However, the number of connected households provided by the government has been disputed by a recent expose by The Standard that revealed that close to one million prepaid units delivered through the last mile connectivity had not been activated.
This means that out of the 3.78 million new connections made during this period, one million could be to consumers who do not have the economic ability to service the costs.
Mr Keter’s assertion that the government has connected 98 per cent of the primary schools in the country to electricity and can now receive digital learning tools is also false. Data from the Kenya Economic Survey released early this year indicates that there are 33,202 primary schools in the country.
If indeed 23,547 schools have been connected to the grid, this brings the coverage to 70 per cent and not 98.8 per cent as claimed by the Ministry of Energy.