BY Machuki Dennison
Marsabit: 2nd August 2018
Laisams Primary school has benefited from at least 13 development projects from The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (KETRACO) meant to compensate the communities in Marsabit County for their land on which the Ethiopia-Kenya interconnector cuts across. Turbi girls in North Horr sub-County is also a beneficiary after KETRACO broke the ground for the construction of classrooms, a library, a dormitory, and a laboratory.
The projects are a joint effort between the communities in Marsabit and KETRACO inline of KETRACO project traversing 263 Kilometres of community land. The project is the 641km 50kv HVDC Ethiopia Kenya Power Interconnector (Eastern Electricity Highway Project) that runs from Woloyta/Sodo in Ethiopia to Suswa substation in Kenya.
The Company will put up 13 community projects in this county financed via the compensation for limited loss of land use. The ceremonies kicked off on Thursday this week during the groundbreaking at both Laisamis and North Horr.
Speaking at Laisamis Primary School, KETRACO’S Managing Director, FCPA, Fernandes Barasa affirmed that the Company is working towards increasing electricity access, effectively evacuating generated power and facilitating regional power trade.
“In addition to fulfilling its mandate, KETRACO is always working towards engaging communities traversed by its projects. In this case, where land is owned communally, the community affected was asked to collectively pick a project of choice to be initiated instead of compensating individuals,” stated FCPA Barasa.
FCPA Barasa further noted that the Company is also committed to improving the way of life and living standards of the project affected persons. “With the building of classrooms in this school, we anticipate a developed community. We are happy to be part of this important growth that is in line with the achievement of the Big 4 agenda by supporting pupils and students who will be tomorrow’s leaders,” he added.
The Laisamis Constituency Member of Parliament Hon. Malimo Arbele was in attendance among other County officials.
The Ethiopia Kenya Power Interconnector was conceived in 2006 when Ethiopia and Kenya signed a memorandum of understanding that allowed for the establishment of a power interconnection system between the two countries.
The Ethiopia Kenya Power Interconnector is divided into lots. The project contractors are Siemens German for the Converter Station, KEC International of India (Lot 4), Larsen & Toubro of India (Lot 5) and Kalpataru Power Transmission of India (Lot 6).
This project is jointly funded by African Development Bank (AfDB), French Development Agency (AFD), the World Bank and the Government of Kenya at a cost of Kshs. 42.5 billion. It is scheduled to be completed in June 2019.
Upon its completion, the project is expected to generate investment opportunities in electricity infrastructure and also give rise to the development of other related industries.
BY Machuki Dennison