In the month of January this year, Infotrak carried out a research on access to electricity in Kenya. The research was commissioned by Christian Aid and the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA)
Aimed at finding out the population of Kenyan household’s access to clean energy, the report found out that only 57.2% of Kenyans are connected to the grid while 43% are still living in the dark. This is contrary to a recent statement by the Kenya Power company which reported that 5.9 million households are connected to the grid, which accounts to only 63%.
Connectivity By Region
Western, Eastern and Nyanza region recorded lower electricity connectivity in comparison to the other regions. 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. The three recorded connectivity of 27.6%, 35.6% and 44.3 % respectively.
Nairobi, North Eastern and Central had the highest connectivity at 95%, 82% and 71% respectively.
Riftavelly region recorded 55.6% connectivity lower than that of coast region standing at 60.9% connectivity.
Of the total connectivity, 57.2% of those living in the rural areas have no access to electricity, while 86.75 of those living in urban areas are connected. This difference is attributed to inadequate infrastructure in the rural areas.
Only 57.2% of Kenyans are connected to the grid while 43% are still living in the dark. This is contrary to a recent statement by the Kenya Power company which reported that 5.9 million households are connected to the grid, which accounts to only 63%.
Connectivity Vs Average Monthly Income
According to Angela Ambitho, access to electricity in the country reduces significantly based on income from different households. This is confirmed by the research unveiled on Tuesday morning indicating that households earning KES 0 to KES 10,000 constitute of a majority with no access to electricity which constitute 54.8% to 74.5% while those getting an income of between KES 10,000 to KES 200,000 and over have a higher connectivity rate of between 68.6% to 100%
It’s one thing to be connected to the grid and it’s another thing to have reliable electricity. That’s said a total of 53% of Kenyans feel that the power they get from Kenya power is reliable. However, 45.2% of household from Coast feel it’s unreliable, while 51.1% of those from Western feel it’s somewhat reliable.
In general, electricity in the country is more unreliable in urban areas compared to the rural areas.
This means, that the process of productivity in Western and Coastal regions is always disrupted now and then, leading to either poor quality of production of good and services or inadequate production of the same. Blackout means delay in delivery in most sectors, from transport to security. The impact on the economy is big!
“Access to electricity in the country reduces significantly based on income from different households” Angela Ambitho
Affordability of electricity was another factor of concern included in the research. Going straight to the findings, atleast 57% of Kenyan Households feel that the current Kenya Power costs are either somewhat affordable or completely unaffordable, 43% of Kenyans feel that the Kenya Power tariffs are affordable.
On this too, Coast and western regions had a higher number of households who believed power is expensive. 54.8% of Coast households believed it’s unaffordable while 57.85 of Western region households thought it’s somewhat affordable.
Compared to the rural area, 29% of urban households thought it’s unaffordable while only 17% of rural households thought the same.
Satisfaction with Kenya Power
People in Coast and North Eastern are least satisfied with the costs of Kenya Power electricity. Indeed 78% of those in North Eastern indicated that they are not at all satisfied with the electricity costs while 66% of those at the Coast intimated their dissatisfaction with costs.
40% of Kenyan households are not satisfied with electricity costs in the country. Another 42% are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. Only 17% are satisfied.
Above all, about four out of every ten surveyed respondents (39.1%) are of the view that that all households in Kenya will have been connected to electricity by the year 2020 as promised by the government.
A sample of 1536 respondents were interviewed to represent the Kenyan adult population of 19,462,358, translating into a minimum margin of error of -/+ 2.5 at 95% degree of confidence. This survey was conducted in all the 8 regions of Kenya