Kiambu Goes Green

Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi (centre),  with his Deputy Rosemary Kirika and other leaders during the launch of Kiambu Solar street lighting project, as part of the urban transformation plan.

By Marion Kanari
The County Government of Kiambu has adopted use of renewable energy in all its
operations effective immediately.
Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi has declared progressive abandonment of grid
power due to unsustainable power and maintenance bills.
In a momentous occasion launching shift to solar street lighting, Governor Wamatangi
has reiterated the unsustainable 1.26B annual power bill for streetlights, hospitals, water
companies, County offices and Fire stations.
“While we are not completely disconnecting from the Kenya Power grid, we aim to
progressively transition to solar energy”. Governor Wamatangi.
The ambitious program, dubbed “Angaza Kiambu” promises to usher in a new era of
clean and renewable energy in the wake of rising cost of electricity.
The Governor has directed all County Departments to solarize all projects going forward
as a measure to align with the global call to urgently reduce carbon emissions.
The Governor has challenged Members of the County Assembly and national
Parliament to fast tract policy and enactment of law on renewable energy and zero
rating wind power respectively as part of securing a brighter and greener future for the
Majority Leader Godfrrey Mucheke while echoing Wamatangi’s sentiments called on
Members of Parliament to introduce law and policies that support the call to embrace
renewable energy.
Wamatangi while appealing to all stakeholders to support the shift to solar noted that
Government agencies like Kura, Kerra, Kenya Power and REREC have been putting up
streetlights across the County, leaving the burden of bills to the County Government.
This he notes has left the County Government with; exorbitant power bills, occasional
disruptions caused by power outages and disconnections due to unpaid bills.
According to the Chief Officer Public Works and Utilities Virginia Kahonge, solar
streetlights have a life span of 20 years as compared to grid connected lights which last
a maximum of 5years; they are less prone to vandalism and insect swarming, reliable,
efficient and have minimal maintenance cost.
During the event, the governor unveiled 4 containers containing 6,000 solar streetlights,
to be installed across the County this month.
County Assembly Sectoral Committee Chair Kamenu Ward MCA Peter Mburu
committed to push the passage of the County Supplementary budget which will see the
installation of the newly launched 6,000 solar lights by September 2024.

The County has 19,621 grid connected streetlights which culminate into an annual
power and maintenance bill of over 260M while 120 hospitals with an estimated annual
power bill of 500M.
A cost-benefit analysis of the Riu Nderi borehole in Ondiri Kikuyu, which strongly
supported switching to solar power, shows savings of Ksh.737,244 over eight months,
translating to an impressive 24 percent reduction in costs after solarization.
County Executive Committee Member RTPWU Mburu Kangethe, while supporting the
call to embrace solar energy also notes that the savings from abandoning grid will be
used to improve County infrastructure.