Meru County has completed 80 % of its energy plan, ahead of a possible launch in April 2023. This places the county ahead of its peers which are also developing their own unique County Energy Plans.
And in a meeting with the Sustainable Energy Technical Assistance (SETA) team, the Meru County Deputy Governor, H.E. Rev. Mutuma M'ethingia, expressed his commitment towards “ensuring that the county meets its targets and obligations.”
“I am excited that our county was picked as the center of excellence on energy matters in this programme,” the Deputy Governor enthused.
“As the political wing of this county and the governance of this county, we are in support of the dream that is there to offer our people clean and safe energy… because energy is everything; it affects every aspect of human life.”
Earlier, during the Meru County Technical Committee meeting, Mr Fredrick Ndunga, the Meru County Commissioner, reiterated that energy, especially lighting, is critical to security. “With enough light, you significantly reduce cases of insecurity. So even as we are planning for our county energy needs, let us remember that security largely relies on lighting,” he noted.
The Energy Act (2019) requires each county to come up with its own energy plans which will be consolidated into one National Energy Plan. Currently SETA, with funding from the European Union, is building the capacity of 12 counties to achieve this goal.
The counties include Meru, Kiambu, Kakamega, Makueni, Nyandarua and Bomet. Others are Vihiga, Kisii, Garissa, Taita-Taveta, Kilifi and Laikipia.
Mr. Dan Marangu, the Director Renewable Energy, Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, assured the DG that the process of developing the Meru County Energy Plan has been “comprehensive, participatory and all inclusive.”
“Once ready we will validate the Meru County Energy Plan with the community before adoption and submission to the national office for consolidation,” Mr Marangu explained. The SETA team was also represented by Mr. Jechoniah Kitala, Sustainable Energy Expert and Mr. Emmanuel Cyoy a technical expert, Loughborough University.
Meru was selected as a model county based on rigorous criteria that include: strong energy department and interdepartmental linkages, strategic geographical design highlands and arid and semi-arid areas, strong political support including budgetary allocation to energy, established robust committee to coordinate development of the energy plan complete with a strong planning committee.
“You have the goodwill of the County Government. Anything that you need to make this programme a success, we shall support,” the Deputy Governor assured.
On her part, CPA Monica Kathono, the CEC Finance and Ag. Roads, Energy, Public Works & Physical Planning, reaffirmed her “commitment towards a robust energy regime in Meru County.” She also appreciated the place of Caritas – Meru for its role in supporting a vibrant energy sector especially targeting households. Caritas is active in supporting for access to finance, and adoption of clean cooking such as biogas by households. It has also been instrumental in the development of the Meru County Energy Plans.