FACTORS INFLUENCING ELECTRICITY CONNECTIVITY IN RURAL KENYA: A CASE OF MT.KENYA SOUTH SUB-REGION OF THE KENYA POWER
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Kenya is among the developing countries ranked as having the lowest connectivity to
electricity in the world (less than 20%) which has negatively affected social progress.
Preliminary investigation from literature reveals that, outsourcing, social economic
factors, physical infrastructure and financing are likely to influence connectivity to
the national grid. This research project uses a classic example of Mount Kenya south
region of the Kenya Power to investigate the factors influencing electricity
connectivity in rural Kenya. The research objectives were therefore to investigate the
extent to which outsourcing of power line construction, socio-demographic factors,
infrastructure and financing influence electricity connectivity in Mount Kenya south.
Descriptive survey design was followed to collect primary data from 116 Kenya
Power staff at five business centers of Mount Kenya south. Data analysis techniques
included descriptive frequencies, aggregating scores and measures of central
tendency. Findings indicate that, the four thematic factors were studied all influence
electricity connectivity in Kenya but to different magnitudes. Infrastructure is the
most influential factor at 92% followed by social economic factors at 27.6% whereas
outsourcing is least important at 18%. Such results indicate that more policy attention
needs to be accorded infrastructure and social economic factors. Other factors emerge
that may influence connectivity such as the recent connection loan facility called
“Stima loan”, electricity tariffs and rural settlement patterns. Such additional factors
become crucial policy related factors that may influence electricity connectivity in
rural Kenya. As a result, the researcher recommends policies that ensure
improvement of rural physical infrastructure and more dense, rather than sparse
settlement patterns to make supply of electricity cost effective. The country should
also exploit alternative sources of power to supply those remote areas. Further studies
are encouraged to investigate the extent to which Stima loans and prepaid metering
system have influenced rural connectivity in rural Kenya.