Kenya Electricity Generating company (KenGen) is set to fully resume its operations at Turkwel hydroelectric power plant and support various community development projects along the Turkwel corridor in West Pokot County in three months’ time.
This comes after the National Assembly committee on Energy visited the Turkwel power plant on Friday and held discussions with the company’s management, leaders and locals from Pokot and Turkana communities after residents raised concern over the company’s stalled operation sin the area.
The KenGen management had suspended some of its services offered at the power plant after armed bandits carried out several deadly attacks.
The company moved a section of its staff, now operating from Kitale town and also transferred its personnel to other power stations following the escalating insecurity and increased acts of lawlessness arising from a bitter conflict over the ownership of the power project between Pokots and Turkanas in the area.
The neighboring communities of Pokot and Turkana have for a long time been engaged in protracted armed raids that have impacted negatively on their socio-economic livelihoods.
The committee, leaders and the company management made resolutions to revive the Turkwel Gorge Club that has been stagnant for many years, and move and relocate close to 40 people living at the Turkwel Gorge Club to the nearby community land.
They resolved to create business opportunities for local communities and improve the Turkwel school to be a center of excellence.
They also resolved to form committees for locals and company management to solve their problems and the company agreed to employ technocrats from both communities. They agreed to revive the KenGen Turkwel Annual Cultural festivals.
The new move will help residents in the area to benefit from the services that had been suspended by the KenGen management due to rampant insecurity.
National Assembly Energy committee Chairman David Gikaria who led the team urged residents to solve their problems and work together for development to be realized.
Joshua Choge, the KenGen board of directors chairman observed that for the last five years peace has prevailed in the area, thus influencing the company’s decision to revive its operations, “We’ll now carry out corporate social responsibilities to uplift the lives of the people,” he said.
Choge said all employees of KenGen who had moved away from the area due to insecurity will go back to Turkwel.
Kapenguria MP Samuel Moroto had called on the company to resume operations, noting that over 300 casual workers employed at the station had been rendered jobless. He assured the KenGen staff that local residents are determined to restore security for normal operations to begin at the power station.