Homeowners along power line wayleaves will receive free electricity connections in a move to reduce costly conflicts. The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO) plans to include the costs for connecting such homes in financial proposals for more rapid implementation.
Fernandes Barasa, the KETRACO MD said the homes near power line wayleaves will not only receive cash compensation packages but also get free electricity. KETRACO will execute this plan in partnership with the Rural Electrification Authority (REA). Ergo, this will enable people to appreciate the benefits of the power line, minimise resistance, and the costly compensation incurred when acquiring wayleaves.
Yearly, the company spends billions of shillings settling land compensation packages, an expenditure which is sometimes higher than the market values.
“The plan is that when we have financing for the whole project, we also have a corresponding financing for rural electrification so that the locals also feel part and parcel of the bigger benefits of the big lines,” Barasa said.
“One of the biggest challenges we are facing is wayleave acquisition where landowners are demanding exorbitant compensations as much as 10 times the market value.”
The REA project is being piloted on the proposed high-voltage Isinya-Namanga line that stretches 93.1 kilometres. The construction deal was awarded to North China Power Engineering Company last October.
The 400 kiloVolt (kV) line is expected to be complete by the end of 2019 and it will cost $26.67 billion. The African Development Bank is giving $22.42 million to the project while the government is funding the deficit.