Amidst heightened accusations from sections of Luhya leaders against the Orange Democratic Movement party leader Raila Odinga that he has selfishly hogged benefits from the Handshake only for his Luo-Nyanza backyard at the expense of Western, ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna has now come with an interesting perspective on the whole issue. Sifuna says that Nyanza and Western are joined at the hip, and a project in one of the regions ultimately benefits the other.
He gave the example of the Olkaria-Lessos-Kisumu power line which, he asserted, greatly helps Western Kenya counties such as Bungoma despite the fact that it is situated in Kisumu.
Sifuna was speaking on Citizen TV’s morning political show Daybreak, which was hosted by Sam Gituku. Alongside Edwin Sifuna in the studio was Belgut MP Nelson Koech and former nominated Senator who was recently ousted, Isaac Mwaura.
Accusations of favouritism against Mr. Odinga were increased after the president’s tour to Nyanza where the area benefited with a port, a market and a stadium among other goodies, which made the Western region feel left out.
KETRACO energized the 400/220/132kV Olkaria – Lessos Kisumu transmission project (OLK project) from Olkaria II through Lessos substation to Kibos substation last month. Currently transmitting at 220kV, the project will facilitate reliable and stable power to the Lake Basin Economic Block Counties that include: Bungoma, Busia, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Kisii, Kisumu, Migori, Nyamira, Siaya, Trans Nzoia, Kericho, Bomet, Nandi and Vihiga. The project will also strengthen the National Grid and facilitate reliable and stable power supply to Kisumu Seaport.
The transmission line will facilitate power trade between Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. Lessos substation will be connected to Tororo via the Lessos – Tororo transmission project (Kenya – Uganda interconnector).
KETRACO Managing Director, FCPA Fernandes Barasa, OGW noted that with the injection of reliable power, there will be an upsurge of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) within the block and create the much-needed opportunities for jobs for the unemployed youths.
‘’ Industrial Parks and Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will attract both local and foreign investments and enhance technology development by industrial parks and innovation and promotion of rural and regional industrialization, ‘’ added FCPA Barasa.