World Bank Grants Kenya $1 Billion Loan for Projects

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Enterprise television- World Bank Grants Kenya $1 Billion Loan for Projects

The World Bank on Thursday said it had given Kenya a $1 billion concessional loan for energy, transport and water infrastructure projects in poorer regions in the country.

The World Bank said that these poorer regions are have benefited little from Kenya’s strong economic performance.

The money appointed will mostly be spent in the counties of Garissa, Isiolo, Lamu, Mandera, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River, Turkana, Wajir, and West Pokot which fall below national averages on development indicators.

The East African economy is seen growing 5.8 percent this year, after electoral turmoil and drought cut last year’s expansion to the lowest level in more than five years.

The funding will go to six projects including an off-grid energy access initiative worth $150 million that the World Bank says will provide electricity to 1.2 million people and contribute 96 megawatts to the national grid.

A further $500 million will go towards a 740 km stretch of the Isiolo-Wajir-Mandera road corridor in the northeast and enhance internet access there.

The World Bank also said that the average poverty rate in the regions stands at 68 percent compared with a national average of 36 percent, while electrification rates there is only 14 percent compared with an estimated 44 to 70 percent nationally.

The loan is revealed to be an addition to $1.4 billion the World Bank has already invested in the region in the areas of health, transport, agriculture and social protection.

However, the World Bank concessional loans have zero or very low-interest rates and have repayments periods of 25 to 40 years, with a five- or 10-year grace period.