The Rural Electrification program saw an increase in customers connected to the national grid from 1.5 million in 2019/20 to 1.9 million in 2020/21 as of the national data.
An increase in total number of customers connected to electricity in Kenya to above 8,278,203 recorded as of the end of June 2021.
An evident rush towards attaining the universal access to electricity target that had been set for the year 2020 was postponed for 2022.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics 2019 census, a total population of 47.5 million amounting to 12.2 million households as a majority of the number is within the rural parts of the country, most are not yet connected.
Despite the government’s last Mile connectivity project launched with an aim of reducing the number of households without electricity, there has been a slugging execution process as it faces challenges among them procurement hitches.
The country has an access rate of 75 per cent with half of the population in Kenya using electricity as a source of lighting.
Data from KNBS indicates 12.04 million households or 50.4 percent of the population light their homes with electricity.
With more electricity users in the rural areas at 7.3 million than the urban setting yet only 4.6 million are using electricity for lighting, while the penetration rate is still lowest upcountry, with only 26 per cent connected compared to 88.4 per cent in the urban setting.
Kerosene for lighting in rural households is at 87 per cent as compared with the urban areas whose electricity lighting is 42 percent.
Various challenges having been identified, the social justice leaders point out the main challenges as; the cost of wiring home, the connection fee and the high electricity bills.
Even though Kenya has the highest electricity access rate in East Africa according to the World Bank, with total access at 75 per cent both from the grid and off-grid solutions, most persons in the rural are not catered for fully.
According to Jerotich Seii, an Energy activist, “When you get distribution up to 500 meters or 250 meters to your home, that is still expensive to bring power to the house. Electricity is also still unaffordable in the country due to a number of factors including the expensive IPPs (Independent Power Producers) contracts.”