President Uhuru Kenyatta has assented to three bills. The Energy Bill 2017, Urban Areas and Cities (Amendment) Bill 2017 and Petroleum Bill 2017.
The newly assented energy bill will establish three agencies namely Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority whose core mandate will be to regulate generation, importation, exportation, transmission, distribution, supply and use of electrical energy with the exception of the licensing of nuclear facilities.
It will also regulate importation, refining, exportation, transportation, storage and sale of petroleum and petroleum products with the exception of crude oil, as well as manage production, conversion, distribution, supply, marketing and use of renewable energy.
It also establishes the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation which will undertake tasks including overseeing the implementation of the Rural Electrification Programme, managing the Rural Electrification Programme Fund and sourcing for additional funds for the programme and renewable energy.
The bill also establishes Nuclear Power and Energy Agency which will propose policies and legislation for the successful implementation of a nuclear power programme. It will also undertake extensive public education on Kenya’s nuclear power programme.
The new urban areas and cities amendment law will enable county governments to review the criteria for classifying an area as a city, municipality, town or market centre.
Under the law, the population for a city has been reduced by half, from 500,000 to 250,000. The law permits a county to declare an urban area a municipality if it has a resident population of at least 50,000.
The act prescribes that an area will be declared a town if it has a population of at least 10,000 residents while a market centre will require a population of at least 2,000.
It also proposes the establishment of boards to govern and manage cities and municipalities, and details the requirements of appointment to manage the boards.
The new petroleum law will see both the national government, county governments and communities receive a fair share of the revenue from petroleum operations.
Counties will receive 20 percent of the national government’s share while communities will get five percent of the same share.