The African Development Bank- which manages Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has approved a grant worth US $992, 000 for the Mutunguru hydro-power project (HPP) in Central Kenya.
The AfDB said the inventive community-owned hydropower project will add to Kenya’s goal of escalating on-grid generation capability, in particular via exploiting indigenous renewable capacity. The project consists of a shareholding structure where members of the Mutunguru community in central Kenya collect a fixed small share of the project’s proceeds.
Gabriel Negatu, Director-General, East Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office, AfDB said in a statement, “This fiscal advantage is estimated to transform into noteworthy economic and developmental impacts in the project region, especially in terms of socio-economic empowerment especially for women and job generation. This vital community ownership and support makes it worthy of the SEFA involvement as a form to be mulled over in future Bank operations.”
The grant will go towards providing legal support for putting up suitable community measures; financial advisory; support to lenders’ due diligence; support to environmental and social impact assessment; institutional and management capacity building.
‘’Through building capability of neighboring communities to possess and run a commercially feasible grid-connected small hydropower project, the Mutunguru hydropower project supports realization of the Feed in Tariff Policy in Kenya to boost access to clean, cost-efficient and sustainable energy the Mutunguru Hydroelectric Company Limited’s ’’ Patrick Kimathi said.
Mr. Patrick Kimathi of the Mutunguru Hydroelectric Company Limited said the government considered small hydro precedence, given the extensive resource accessibility, base load properties and simplifying of the integration into the grid.
The project will spawn new revenue and improve the job skills of rural women as they take on extra micro-economical activities other than the ones they are previously dominating for example: tea agricultural estate and dairy ranches.