The Narok County Energy Plan stakeholder validation workshop was concluded on 25th October 2022 after subsequent meetings and workshops held in Narok during the month of October. In attendance were key stakeholders from Oloisukut Group Conservancy, Narok Disabled Integrated Programme, Sejelai Organisation, Jua Kali, Kenya Power, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, and others.
The intended outcome of the validation workshop, which was held in Zebu Hotel, Narok, was for the sector leads to present a preliminary draft Narok County Energy Plan report to stakeholders, and receive their comments with respect to their inputs during the focus group discussions and the fieldwork survey carried out earlier in the year. Narok is one of the ten counties out of forty-seven that have developed a county energy plan.
During his opening remarks, Eng. George Njoroge affirmed the commitment by Kenya Power to ensure the county reaches an energy access rate above 70 percent by 2025 and as such, is pleased to be part of this process of drafting the county energy plan. This, he added, will ensure that the agenda to drive energy access to the people of Narok is achieved. Focus Group discussions held earlier in the year revealed that most of the residents of the county are willing to transition from traditional to modern cooking fuels and pay for energy services, making Eng. Njoroge’s remarks timely.
After the sector-lead presentations of the eight chapters, Tom Maruti, an Economist, and Planner at the Ministry of Energy, emphasized that the report should be both progressive and aligned with the national energy existing policies to ease implementation. Further, added Abel Omanga, Comssa Kenya Focal Person, GIZ, “as we finalize the report we need to consider how the Narok County Energy Plan will be implemented and separate what will be done at the county level and what needs intervention at the national level.”
All stakeholders were upbeat about the amount of work and dedication done by the various sector teams to deliver a well-researched county energy plan report taking into consideration all their feedback given during data collection. Many echoed that this could be a template for the development of future county energy plans. Key comments from stakeholders included; making biogas a priority intervention as dung from animals within the county is vastly available. This as per the stakeholders should be a priority area.
The women also raised some of the challenges they have faced due to lack of energy access. According to Nanyiare Siomit Noonkipa (Mama), “If there is anyone who has suffered in the county is the woman. For many years we have carried firewood on our backs while risking our lives out in the wild in search for energy. If energy access is made available for all, we will eradicate the use of firewood and save lives,” she concluded.
At the end of the workshop, all the feedback was collated and the team is embarking on a final review of the Narok County Energy Plan report, which will be launched in December 2022.
This project is funded by UK PACT in partnership with the Narok County and World Resources Institute and is led by Victor Thomas Otieno.
This article was written by Anne Njeri Njoroge, Communications Officer at Strathmore Energy Research Centre.
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