It is estimated that around one and half a billion people globally have no access to reliable electricity. Most live on developing countries, in rural areas where connection to electricity grid still remain prohibitively expensive. This has in result led to people resorting to solar energy.
|Chief Officer Alex Lokimoi in consultative talk with CEC- Public works, Roads, Transport & Energy-Busia|
As solar energy market rapidly expands, more people are exploring the possibility of going solar. This is the case in Sidonge, a small village in Budalangi, Busia County.
Kudura Solar Project is the largest and among the first to be installed in Kenya, generating 8.5 kilowatts that serves 40 households.
During a meeting with the CEC in charge of Public works, Roads, Transport and Energy-Benard Kyade Yaite, The Chief Officer-Trade, Industrialization and Energy Alex Lokimoi said West Pokot County has plenty of solar energy that goes to waste, hence the need to tap into it.
|Mr Lokimoi with Mangeni at the Kudura Solar Panel site at Sidonge village.|
His visit comes after the county government received over two billion from World Bank, a funding set aside for undeserved counties to be channeled into production of solar energy.
Mr Lokimoi said that the timing of the funding couldn’t have come at a better time.
“We want to ensure that this funding will be pumped into solar energy projects that will benefit people especially in remote villages. Our county has the resources to fully tap into renewable energy”
|Kudura Solar Project.|
CEC Yaite mentioned the importance of coming up with legislative processes which will govern the projects, “As a county government, we put in place a few legislations to guide our operations. The most important thing is to cascade the regulations at the grassroots level and ensure projects are watertight.”
Sidonge solar panel has benefitted the locals significantly in direct economic investment, revenue and job creation.
|Nekesa stands by her salon powered by solar energy.|
The Project Coordinator-Josphat Mangeni says the project cost 12.5M to be built and its impact has been great, “Electricity connection has been an issue here for a long time. This project has offered an alternative to the locals in this area. Now they can light up their houses and engage in business ventures. This was not possible before.”
Chief Officer Lokimoi said his department will replicate the same projects in remote areas around the county, which he said, will eventually lead to collective development of the county.