Risks on the Rural Electrification Project Implementation Performance in Mukurwe-Ini Sub-County, Nyeri County, Kenya
Chege, Njui Charles
Kinoti, Franklin Kaburu
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Rural electrification is a central cornerstone in poverty alleviation and is the first step of modernization. It requires the resilient commitment of resources owing to its nature of high start-up costs especially in capital expenditure. It has facilitated major economic progress in the industrial and business environments especially in rural areas. In the recent past, there has been notable and substantial progress made towards providing electricity access in Kenya. Despite this being the case; electricity uptake is still an ongoing challenge locally. There has been a growing gap in electricity uptake between the urban population and rural population attributed to unequitable distribution of electrification projects. This study seeks to examine the effect that project risks have on the rural electrification project performance in Mukurwe-ini Sub County, Kenya. Specifically, this research inquiry will seek to; examine effects of financial risks, economic risks, organizational risks and technical risk on rural electrification project performance in Mukurwe-ini Sub County, Nyeri County. This study was informed by the systems theory, stakeholder theory and the planning theory and adopted a descriptive research scheme. Stakeholders in all the eleven electrification projects in the four wards of Mukurwe-ini Sub-County constituted the study population. In each project, the study targeted the project heads, respective section heads and the employees working in the projects. Further, representatives from KPLC, REA, National government, county government and local administration were also targeted. Therefore, the study targeted representatives from various departments, community members, local administration, national and county government officials and contractors and subcontractors making a total of 77 respondents. The study used a census approach and therefore all the 77 respondents took part in the study. A pilot study test was done prior to undertaking the actual data collection for this study to ensure reliability and validity of data collected. This study made use of raw data by administering structured forms to the respondents. The data collected was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Data collected was presented in pie charts and tabulations in summary for presentation and comparison. The study established that project risks had a negative relationship with performance of rural electrification projects in Mukurwe-ini SubCounty, Nyeri County, Kenya. The study concluded that the rural electrification project faced significant number of risks ranging from inadequate funding, vandalism of power infrastructure, debts, to high operational costs. It was concluded that the project faced economic risks ranging from political uncertainties, inflation, unfavourable government policies and cost of electricity which affected the performance of rural electrification projects in Mukurwe-ini-in Sub-County. The study concluded that organizational risks negatively affected the performance of rural electrification projects in Mukurwe-ini SubCounty, Nyeri County. The study concluded that the projects faced technical risks mainly limited capacity, managerial competence, ICT skills and low staff competency which negatively affected performance of the projects. The study recommends that the projects need to ensure diligent management of debt, improve project funding and improve operational efficiency to reduce financial risks. The study mainly recommends that projects need assessment of the risks they are subjected to, prepare, control and mitigate them to improve project performance.