By Emily Mikwa
Yesterday stakeholders drawn from the Ministry of Energy, County department of Energy, Gender and Practical Action, organized a sensitization workshop to the designated County Energy Planning committee members at the Imperial Hotel in Kisumu.
The sensitization session focused on the Energy Act, 2019, the INEP framework draft Energy, INEP Regulations, 2020, the Gender policy in energy and their roles in the county Energy Planning. The workshop also created a platform for the county government and its development partners to engage.
While officially opening the workshop, the County Executive Member for Trade, Energy and Industrialization, Mr. Dixon Obungu was optimistic that the engagement will aid understanding in all areas of mutual cooperation among development partners, State Corporations and the County Government, which is critical to the successful realization of Comprehensive County Energy Plan and Integrated National Energy Plan.
Kisumu County having experienced power supply instability and non-reliability over the years, there is certainty that the trend can be put to an end by meticulous Energy Planning, fostering partnership and collaboration with major industry players, through exploration, development and implementation of new Power generation facilities within the county.
The County Executive Member affirmed the County Government’s focus and commitment to achieve economic transformation in a way that will uplift the standard of living for all Kisumu residents. Additionally, there is intent to achieve sustainable economic growth, boost industrial and manufacturing capacity, by enhancing the exploration, development and adoption of clean, sustainable and reliable energy technologies.
He reiterated that the County government of Kisumu has an ambitious plan of achieving 90% electric Power connectivity by the year 2022, to connect the unconnected and improve accessibility of reliable, sustainable and affordable supply; a programme that require expansion of the existing Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution Networks.
“As a county we understand that we cannot achieve this without partnership and collaboration with you and all industry players like KETRACO, KenGen, KPLC, REREC, IPPs, Regulator EPRA, our development partners: Expertise France, Practical Action, Clean Cooking Association of Kenya (CCAK) and the Ministry of Energy. In this regard my department has already entered into a collaboration framework with REREC to execute Rural Electrification programme” Said Mr. Obungu
The County Energy Plan he says give all our energy infrastructure development partners and others the necessary framework to work closely with County Government and align their programmes fully with the agenda. The County Government of Kisumu is open, and shares development information freely to avoid unnecessary and wasteful duplication and disharmony in strategies
“Full execution of the Vision 2030 also remains our unshakable commitment and in it we see an excellent opportunity and strategy of delivering the vision of the Kisumu County Government”. He added.
Mr. Tom Maruti who represented the Ministry of Energy through online gave a brief on the Energy Act 2019, highlighting the roles of both county and the National Governments. He also gave explanations on the INEP framework, CEP and draft Energy, the national Energy plan and Regulations 2020.
He further outlined the composition and the roles of Energy Planning Committee members
The Gender Advocacy Officer from Practical Action, Madam Sharon Ochieng on her part, underscored the critical role of partnership in scaling up and reaching more people.
She affirmed that the gender within the Energy sector is taking cognizance of SDG 7 and 5, where SDG 7 ensures access to modern energy by all, doubling share of renewable energy in global energy mix, while SDG 5 takes cognizance of gender equality in achieving development ambitions involving men and women.
She expressed concern by outlining six gender disparities in technical team within the energy sector that favors men than women. She challenged the participants to identify the gender gaps in the energy sector as plans are on course to develop the county energy plan and policies. This will inform the activities and programmes the county will come up with as it works to achieve the universal access to clean energy by all.
The session was officially closed by the Chief Officer for Trade, Energy and Industrialization, Mr. Joseph Oganga.
Also in attendance were: Mr. Hamed Muhamed Regional Director Nyanza and Western EPRA, Mr.Owen Munene from KPLC, Mr. Arika Michael County Commissioner, Mr. Charles Onyango from REPEC, the County top officials such as Director Petroleum and Electricity, Mr. Ephren Ouma, director Renewable Energy, Mr. Laban Okeyo, Director Economic planning ans Statistics Mr. Collins, Director industrialization and investment Mr. Anyanga among other officials from the line departments.