The UK has given Kenya a grant of Ksh4.7 billion ($41.3 million) for solar and reforestation initiatives. Nairobi’s attempts to reverse forest loss and land degradation, as well as make a full transition to renewable energy by 2030, as agreed at COP26 last year, would benefit from this.
The donation comprises $34.3 million for the Kesses solar plant in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu, Kenya’s Rift Valley region, which is a 55-megawatt peak clean energy project. Thousands of people will have access to energy, and over new 400 jobs are predicted to be generated from this.
The donation was announced last week, during the launch of a $660 000 reforestation project in the Kaptagat forest in the Rift Valley region. Those making the donation include the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), the Eluide Kipchoge Foundation and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Ongoing efforts against climate change
“The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, which is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), confirmed its leading position as a provider of debt funding to Africa’s alternative energy generation sector. EAIF has provided a $35 million loan over a 15-year term to the 40W Kesses solar generation facility to be built near Eldoret in the Rift Valley region of Kenya.
“The project will cost a total of US$87 million. The first part of the loan was disbursed to Alten Kenya solar farms BV (Alten), the Kenyan business of the Alten group, in late December 2021,” the EAIF said via a statement.
Another $7 million from the donation will be used to fund private projects aimed at repairing degraded and deforested land in the country. Kenya received $1.36 million in January to help alleviate the effects of unprecedented drought and flooding.
This forms part of London’s pledge to quadruple its overall climate money accessible for adaptation programmes, following last year’s COP26 conference.
The money will help the government meet its goal of increasing Kenya’s forest cover from 6.9% to 10% by the end of the year, as stipulated by the constitution.
More than a thousand people living in the Kaptagat forest landscape would benefit from the initiatives, according to the British High Commission, which aim to reduce unsustainable agricultural practices, illegal logging, overgrazing, forest encroachment and charcoal manufacture.