Kilifi. Friday 26 August 2023
Energy Principal Secretary Alex Wachira has pitched for nuclear electricity as a key plank in the country’s future energy mix. The PS Spoke during a courtesy call to Kilifi Governor Gideon Mungaro.
“We shall create awareness of safety in adherence to international regulations set by the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) followed by public participation for more community involvement,” said Energy PS Wachira.
The delegation led by the PS Energy included Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA) Chairman Ezra Odhiambo, Kenya Nuclear Regulatory Authority Chairman
Edick Anyanga, NuPEA Ag. CEO Justus Wabuyabo, NuPEA Director for Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Development Eng Erick Ohaga, as well as NuPEA’s Director for Information, Advocacy and Communication Basett Buyukah.
Kilifi Governor Mungaro welcomed the planned nuclear power plant development earmarked for the county.
“Nuclear Power is embraced all over the world today as a source of clean and sustainable energy. Kenya and more so Kilifi County, is not left behind either,” said
Kenya is aiming to have its first nuclear power plant commissioned in 2034. The proposed site within Kilifi County and a second one in Kwale have been identified as
the most suitable locations.
“However, before any step is taken, public participation and community involvement shall be fully observed to ensure it is done to the satisfaction and interest of the people of Kilifi,” Added Governor Mungaro.
Later the delegation visited Matsangoni and held a public baraza. Residents were educated on the benefits that would obtain to the country and the local community.
These include a robust energy mix, employment opportunities as well as development of key infrastructure in and around the potential host community.
The Energy PS also directed that the Nuclear Power and Energy Agency(NuPEA) adopt three primary schools in the area as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility and offer scholarships to learners geared at developing their aptitude in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. This approach is geared at ensuring that part of the future human resource required for the nuclear plant will be from locals who would have gained the skills and knowledge required to play their part in the project.
“Nuclear is a worldwide trend. The International Atomic Energy Agency is leading international efforts which we strictly adhere to. We as NuPEA will intensify
stakeholder engagement with this community,” said NuPEA Ag. CEO Justus Wabuyabo.
The public baraza also resolved that the locals form a committee of fifteen persons that would engage with NuPEA and the Kilifi County government regularly to air their concerns and express their views and act as a link to ensure effective public participation and community engagement at every stage of the nuclear power
“A Committee will be formed comprising Member of County Assembly, MP, County government and NuPEA to interface with the one from the local residents,” said NuPEA Chairman Ezra Odhiambo.
The delegation also visited the office of the County Commissioner and were received by the Deputy County Commissioner for Kilifi North, James Mutisya.