The National Government has been urged to reduce the high cost of energy since it’s a key enabler to attaining development in the country.
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said that the high cost of energy in the country hinders economic growth and development in manufacturing industries and companies that contribute to the country’s economy.
Speaking in his office during a meeting with a delegation from the Ministry of Energy led by a top official, Jechoniah Kitala, Oparanya said that his Government has been hit hard by the high cost of electricity citing the water department.
He said that the County had initiated many water projects but they were not operating effectively because of the high cost of electricity. “A country that does not manage its energy sector well cannot make meaningful strides in development,” he said.
In December last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that the cost of electricity will be reduced by 30 per cent and implemented in two tranches of 15 percent each.
“Most of the water projects set up by the County are not serving Kakamega residents effectively because they have accumulative bills worth millions of shillings,” he said.
He said as a result the County has reverted to installing solar systems as a measure aimed at cutting down on high electricity costs.
He however regretted that solar projects have limitations as he urged the National Government to make the cost power cost effective.
The Governor also said that there was a need to promote use of gas as an alternative energy. This will reduce the use of firewood and cutting trees which contributes to environmental degradation and climate change.
“Gas is cheap and economical. The Government should subsidize gas charges to enable the majority of citizens to use it in their homes as an alternative to firewood,” he added.
Oparanya said he implemented the use of gas instead of firewood in the County Teaching and Referral hospital and the cost went down by three quarters.
He added that other counties want to adopt the same in their health facilities since its clean energy.