Frequent power rationing in Mandera has adversely affected county operations and driven away investors from the region, Ali Roba, the governor, has said.
Mr Roba has asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to urgently intervene to have the problem resolved, saying it has also affected hospitals.
“I plead with the president to make deliberate investment effort to connect Mandera to the national grid to attract investments,” Mr Roba said.
“Operations have grounded to a halt. This is unacceptable in modern day Kenya. The national government should invest and make sure we get connected to the grid to attract investments. We have immense investment opportunities.”
Speaking by phone, Mr Roba said Kenya Power has only one diesel generator in Mandera Town which cannot meet the growing demand for electricity resulting to frequent rationing and outages.
“There is serious under-capacity due to excessive growth of household power needs. I request the national government and Kenya Power to invest in additional megawatts of electricity,” Mr Roba said.
Mr Roba, who is the chairman of the counties in the arid and semi-arid lands in the Council of Governors, said efforts to have the Ministry of Energy address the shortage have been futile.
“We have discussed the issue at highest level of government. Despite discussing it with former Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir, the current PS and the current Kenya Power MD during a Council of Governors engagement in Naivasha, there has been no response,” Mr Roba said.
“Counties are expected to compete by providing investment opportunities but for Mandera we are not advantaged like others due to lack of electricity, making it difficult for us to industrialise,” Mr Roba said.
He said that prospective investors had changed their plans due to lack of power.