(NATION) Kenyans in the rural areas will soon have a different cheaper tariff for domestic power consumption.

Speaking Sunday in Nyandarua County while launching the Last Mile programme, Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter said President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the ministry to ensure the introduction of the cheaper cost of electricity in rural areas.

“We understand that the cost of electricity is unaffordable [to] most consumers in the rural areas. It doesn’t make sense to connect a grandmother in the rural areas but have her disconnected due to unaffordable bills. We want to bring it down to around Sh200 per month,” said the CS.

He said the government wants to ensure over 90 percent connections to the main grid by the end of President Kenyatta’s second term.

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

The CS said the current connection at the national level stands at 50 percent, though some regions have up to 70 percent connection.

He said the regions with lower connectivity will benefit from the ministry’s affirmative action funds to place them at par with other regions.

“Nyandarua County is among those identified to benefit from the affirmative action. We have had several meetings with your governor and other leaders and we all agree that Nyandarua needs a special attention,” Mr Keter told residents.

Nyandarua County Public Works and Energy Executive Member Stephen Mbugua, who accompanied the CS together with other leaders, said the county’s connectivity stands at 24 percent, which is far below other regions.

BELOW OTHER REGIONS

“We as the county have set aside some cash to supplement the Sh1.3 billion from the national government electricity connection-related projects. The region did not benefit from previous national government-funded electricity projects,” said Mr Mbugua.

At the same time, CS Keter warned that contractors lagging behind in the implementation of the power projects would have their contracts cancelled, adding that some are at 20 percent performance, more than three years since they were awarded the contracts.

Ndaragua MP Jeremiah Kioni protested that there are some areas with no electricity connections, yet power transformers were installed more than a decade ago.

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