Nairobi, KENYA: 57% of households in Kenya claim to be connected to Kenya Power and Lighting KPLC electricity.
Research Company Infotrak noted that this is 10% less than Kenya Power statistics.
“This could potentially be either as a result of over-reporting by the Kenya Power. There could be a possibility of provision of in-active meter systems by the Kenya power,” said CEO Infotrak Angela Ambitho during the release of the 2nd opinion polls which focused on electricity access, affordability and reliability.
During the release of the results it was noted that interestingly, households in Western, Nyanza and Eastern, which are all regions perceived to be opposition strongholds have the lowest incidences of household electricity connectivity.
More specifically, nearly three quarters of those in Western, two thirds of those in Eastern; and more than half of those in Nyanza indicated that they don’t have connectivity.
Nairobi, North Eastern and Central had the highest connectivity at 95%, 82% and 71% respectively.
Connectivity in Rift Valley was significantly lower than in Central and even North Eastern.
Coast had a connectivity of 61%.
Benson Ireri Christian Aid’s Regional Coordinator Climate Change & Sustainable Energy, Africa Division mentioned electricity as a critical driver in economic development.
“The cost of electricity in Kenya is significantly high for most of the poor households. Constant rationing makes current electricity supply quite unreliable,” Mr. Ireri said.
He advised that as Kenyans head towards the general elections politicians ought to be keen to respond to the needs of Kenyans must prioritize provision of energy to everyone in the country.
In a previous poll 64 % of Kenyans were ready to vote parties passionate about issues of clean and sustainable energy.
During the release of the poll results on Tuesday, it was also revealed that more than half of Kenyans felt that Kenya Power costs are unaffordable.
“57% felt that the costs were too high while 43 per cent believed the tariffs were affordable,” Ms. Mbitho remarked.
34% of respondents were partially comfortable with the Kenya power electricity costs whereby majority of the populations (55 %) feel that the current Kenya power costs are not affordable.
44 per cent of Kenyan households showed lack of satisfaction with the utility of electricity supply where high levels of discontent is highest in North Eastern at 60 per cent, Coast and Eastern at 52 per cent and Nairobi at 49 per cent.
Ms. Mbitho further called out on Kenya Power to avoid situations of power outages.
“The US experiences one blackout in 10 years whereas in Kenya 56 days of blackouts per year are witnessed. For us to be a developed country we must ensure constant supply of electricity,” she said.
The research was conducted from 9th – 13th of January 2017, where 1536 respondents were interviewed.
Christian Aid, in partnership with the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) commissioned Infotrak to undertake an opinion poll survey to gauge the levels of demand for access to clean energy in Kenya, as well
whether political promise for provision of energy would have any influence on voting patterns in the country.