BY TANA RIVER CORRESPONDENT
The National Government has embarked on a Sh15 billion last mile electricity connectivity programme targeting 14 counties, Energy cabinet secretary Charles Keter says.
The funds from the World Bank would see villages and settlements in the identified counties get electricity through generators, solar and wind power as well as the national grid.
He said this on Thursday (July 4) at Watta Village of Galole Constituency in Tana River County where he commissioned a Sh178 million last mile connectivity project. The CS launched similar projects in Bura and Garsen constituencies.
“We have received 150 million US Dollars (Ksh1.5 billion) to distribute electricity in the 14 counties with this county included,” he said.
The projects would target low-income settlements, schools and boreholes with a view to improving the wellbeing of residents and enhance education through the Digital Learning Programme.
According to him where there is a settlement, they shall install solar and mini-grids so that even the poor can get electricity while at the same time ensuring boreholes are connected to supply water to rural communities.
The projects are being undertaken by the Kenya Power Company and the Kenya Rural Electrification Authority (REA).
The CS said 100 households in Galole constituency would be connected to power within the next two weeks noting that the project was in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s desire to have all homes connected to power.
Kenya Power acting managing director Jared Otieno confirmed that the company was spending Sh178 million to connect about 5,000 people to electricity under the last mile connectivity programme in Galole constituency.
Both Galole MP Said Buya Hiribae and his Garsen counterpart Ali Wario-Hashaka praised the government for targeting the poor in society and hoped the project would improve the economic wellbeing of all.
Meanwhile, Tana River County has procured modern medical equipment worth Sh15 million to be used in the maternity wings in three health facilities.
County health and sanitation executive Mwanajuma Hiribae said each of the three dispensaries – Wenje Dispensaries and Kipini and Bura Health Centres – would receive tools worth Sh5 million each.
Receiving the gadgets from the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation on Friday (July 5), Mrs Hiribae said the equipment would greatly improve maternity services in the three health facilities, thus reducing maternity deaths and child mortality.
The procured items include delivery beds, oxygen cylinders, fetoscopes (devices used to obtain information about a foetus within the uterus), beds, blood pressure reading machines, digital refrigerators and rescuscitaire (resuscitation carts used in health facilities).
She said the acquisition of the machines would empower the dispensaries and greatly reduce the number of referrals to the main hospitals in the county.
“Many women have lost their pregnancies while others have died on their way to hospital due to the unavailability of such equipment in strategic health facilities, but we believe with this equipment this will come to an end,” she added.
The CEC disclosed that the county government would purchase at least one ambulance for every dispensary to help ferry referred patients to different referral hospitals faster.
The move to equip build and equip maternity wings at dispensaries was received with joy by local midwives who attended the function at Wenje with Ms. Guyato Dhadho appealing for an ambulance to help transport referred patients to Hola Referral Hospital.
Some of the midwives asked the county administration to increase their allowances from Sh250 to at least Sh1,500 per delivery.