Kenya on Wednesday launched a comprehensive strategy to boost engagement of local communities in the design and execution of energy projects.

The government has prioritized a structured dialogue with communities to prevent fallout during implementation of projects that aims to expand access to electricity, said Charles Keter, cabinet secretary of the Ministry of Energy.

“The government is keen to secure goodwill from communities to ensure there is speedy implementation of energy infrastructure projects,” said Keter.

“By involving communities at all stages of the project’s implementation, we will avoid litigation that push up their cost and undermine the goal of achieving universal access to power for households by 2022,” he added.

The cabinet secretary said that investments in power generation and distribution will be ecologically sensitive and responsive to the social and economic needs of local communities.

“We have adopted best practices that oblige us to develop energy infrastructure projects in a way that is responsive to community needs and lifestyles,” said Keter.

Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) in partnership with bilateral partners developed the strategy to enhance interaction and dialogue with communities living near major energy projects.

Joshua Choge, chairman of KenGen Board said the strategy will help cement relationship between the power utility and communities as it develops renewable energy sources like geothermal, solar and wind.

“We believe that adopting practices that are responsive to the needs of local communities is key to success of our operations,” said Choge.

Rebecca Miano, managing director of KenGen said the community engagement strategy that is embedded in the power utility’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, is expected to deliver mutual benefits. Enditem



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