By Christine Muchira
Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) has commissioned several community projects in the 7 Forks region of Embu and Machakos counties worth Ksh69.7 million.
The projects implemented under the energy generator’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme include water pans, learning facilities in primary and secondary schools and environment conservation initiatives.
Gatururi primary school in Kiambee Mbeere south is one of the schools that is hit by poverty where some of the classes are built of mud.
Pupils from this school will enjoy living under stone built classes and this is after KENGEN constructed a class of the most affected pupils.
Speaking during the commissioning the projects in Kamburu, KenGen Managing Director and CEO, Eng. Albert Mugo, said the company will continue transforming lives in communities hosting its power generation installations by investing in water and sanitation, education and environment projects.
Eng Mugo said the company will work with the community to identify other emerging challenges that require investments to improve quality of life.
The projects include the Green Initiative Challenge (GIC) Phase I which aims at greening of 80 secondary schools, Kivaa water project, CDM Ngurunga water pan, construction of a dining hall at Kaewa Secondary School and classrooms at Gatururi, Karura secondary schools.
The water projects will serve the neighboring communities who for several years have been relying on untreated dam water and seasonal river bed water stored in saturated sand as the main sources of domestic water.
The officials said that the quality of education will be improved in the region with the successful completion of the various projects in primary and secondary schools.
The company has also invested in other projects worth Ksh28.5 million which are still ongoing in the region.
The ongoing projects include the GIC Phase II, construction of a dormitory in Gacabari Secondary School, a classroom in Kitoloni Secondary School, water connection in Kathiani Primary School, fencing of Kalatine Secondary School sand dams in Mathauta and Cieria; and gabions in Kindaruma and Gitaru.
Speaking at the same event, KenGen Chairman, Joshua Choge, said the company’s sustainability agenda includes social and environmental sustainability as well business.
Choge said that KenGen espouses Corporate Social Responsibility ideals and we are mindful to leave our footprint on the sands of time. This is why our CSR programme is rooted in the three pillars of water and sanitation, education and environment conservation.
“Having benefited from positive community relations with residents neighbouring our Eastern Hydros, we also have a responsibility not only to give back but also to expand opportunities for them to develop their capacity and excel,” said Choge.
Other officials from KenGen said that they will always monitor their projects given to the community so that the projects will be always functional.
Mbeere south deputy county commissioner ms Beverly Oporwa recommended work done by the KENGEN to improve live standards of the community and especially the hardship areas such as Kiambeere and part of Ukambani.
Masinga member of parliament mr. Ituwiku mbae told KenGen to give 1000 acres part of the 12000 acres to the residents that have been living in Kivaa Machakos for many years.
He challenged the KenGen officials that have been alot of delay to solving the matter but the chairman welcomed a dialogue and promised to give part of their land to the locals.