The Kenyan government is relying on free primary laptop project to increase power connectivity within the country. The aim of the project, which is one of Jubilee’s chief projects, is to provide free laptops to primary schools.
Although the promise to donate laptops would have seen Kenya join countries such as Mongolia and Rwanda, where school children use laptops to access information on various subjects, play and learn, it has encountered several challenges with over 3000 teachers having been trained on computer courses. However, the government still insists that the project is still on course even though it has been postponed.
According to Joseph Njoroge, the PS of energy and petroleum, the project will enable homes situated close to schools benefit from power while schools distant from the national grid connected to solar power.
He further added, “By June 2015, each public primary school will be connected to power and it will have an overflow effect to households close to the schools.”
According to the government, more than 20,000 public primary schools will be connected to power by the end of the financial year and approximately 10, 184 schools will depend on solar power.
“The present power connectivity in the country stands between 32 and 35 per cent, which the government plans to raise up to slightly more than 70 per cent by 2020. However, approximately 16,000 schools have been connected to power while an additional 6,000 will be connected by June 2015,”Njoroge explained.
Ben Chumo, the MD of Kenya Power also commented: “Within this financial year, one million extra customers will be connected to the national grid. Kenya Power will build on last year’s success where 443,000 new customer connections were recorded up from 307,000 in the previous year to accelerate the rate of connection. The company will also allocate enough resources to maintain high rate of connectivity in coming years as part of demand creation of the 5,000 megawatts additional capacity conceived of by government.”
Chumo further noted that they would work closely with financial institutions to create suitable loan facilities to help possible customers pay for new connections. He also said that they would pay Sh100, 000 for a customer whose quotation is over Sh135, 000.
“The company has put into place a new law that will see power disconnected if a customer fails to repay a loan as a way to guarantee financial institutions,” he added.