Counties

Sh13m generator to light up City Hall during power outages

CHall

The City Hall building in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Nairobi County government will spend Sh13 million on a generator to light up City Hall and City Hall Annex during power outages.

The plan, contained in the Nairobi County Annual Development Plan for the financial year ending June 30, 2023, is set to be actualised in the current financial year.

The allocation for the purchase of the generator is part of Sh128 million to be spent by the Ann Kananu-led administration in the financial year ending June 30, 2022, on different projects including giving City Hall a facelift through rehabilitation, refurbishment, and repainting.

“As part of projects under the office of the Governor for the financial year ending June 30, 2021, Sh13 million will go towards the purchase of a generator,” reads in part the document tabled before Nairobi County Assembly last week.

City Hall has suffered a series of power cuts by Kenya Power over electricity debts with the first disconnection playing out in January 2015 when City Hall was plunged into darkness for three days after a year of court battles.

This has often plunged different installations and institutions belonging to the county government in darkness due to disputes arising from failure to offset the debt.

Consequently, the electricity cuts have led to the interruption of services in the affected county installations as the two entities battle over the electricity bill, some inherited from the defunct city council.

In May this year, the Nairobi County government set aside Sh691 million to clear the debt in a bid to bring to an end perennial power blackouts caused by the utility firm cutting off the electricity supply.

According to Nairobi County Debt Management Strategy Paper for the financial year ending June 30, 2022, City Hall owes the power distributor Sh691.58 million in electricity bills.

Nairobi County Assembly Budget and Appropriation committee chairman Robert Mbatia said the allocation is intended to bring to an end the back and forth between City Hall and Kenya Power over debts owed to each other.

In June, Kenya Power struck again cutting off electricity supply to City Hall and City Hall Annex after the county delayed releasing the money.

City Hall has in the past been reluctant to clear the debt claiming the utility provider owes them Sh856 million in wayleave charges that have not been paid for years.