Kenya’s Off-grid Solar Access Project for Underserved Counties has received $150 million International Development Association (IDA) credit from the World Bank.
The Project aims to give 1.3 million people in 277, 000 households across 14 counties access to modern energy services through off-grid solar.
Charles Keter, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Energy and Petroleum said, “The uniqueness of this project, which entails the innovative financing of the solar home system component, will be the hall mark of success in accelerating off-grid electrification, which has been hard to achieve. We appreciate the partnership and support of the World Bank in conceptualization and implementation of this project.”
Backed by private sector investment and involvement to ensure sustainability, it will reach homes, schools, health centers and community facilities in Garissa, Lamu, Mandera, Marsabit, Narok, Samburu, Tana River, Turkana, Wajir and West Pokot which form the North Eastern Development Initiative (NEDI).
The Project will also serve Kwale, Kilifi, Narok and Taita Taveta which are not part of NEDI.
It will use a combination of investments to provide modern energy services using practical business models that attract private sector investment, knowledge, sustainable services and other key efficiencies.
The IDA provides grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives in the world’s poorest countries in this case to a project aligned to the World Bank Group’s Kenya Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) and one that supports its twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.
“The World Bank is committed to supporting the growth of Kenya’s underserved areas through linking homes, communities and the businesses that serve them to clean and renewable energy sources,” said Diarietou Gaye, World Bank Country Director for Kenya.
The Project is expected to open avenues for the creation of more businesses and jobs in these counties.