The Ministry of Energy has been directed to comprehensively deal with the challenge of power failure.

President William Ruto, who chaired the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, said frequent power outages were affecting business and the country’s investment image.

The Cabinet discussed the matter very extensively and resolved that the transmission line system should be unbundled so that power failure in one part does not affect the entire country.

To deal with overloading of transmission lines that causes outages which affect the whole country, the Bomet-Narok line will be built with $250 million (KSh37.5 billion) from the Africa Development Bank.

This line was funded in 2016, but it was not built because of legal disputes.

Additionally, a $57 million (KSh8.5 billion) KenGen solar power project at the Seven Forks Dam will provide a safeguard against power failure.

The 42MW project has a huge battery storage and if power fails, the stored energy kicks in. Another benefit of the project is that this project helps save hydro-power at the five dams that make up the Seven Forks.

The Cabinet was informed that negotiations on the Kenya-European Union Economic Partnership Agreement have been completed, and will be signed on Monday December 18.

The agreement, giving Kenya more access to the European Union market, will also be taken to Parliament for ratification as required by the Constitution.

The agreement is the most ambitious European Union deal with any African country in terms of climate protection and labour rights.

The agreement has been long in coming, with the negotiations having started in 2002. In 2016, efforts to have the East African Community countries sign together failed.

On the El Nino rains, the Cabinet was also briefed on the response. The government’s response in mitigating the effects of floods was commended for being well-coordinated and effective.

The National Government has worked with counties, the Kenya Red Cross and other humanitarian organisations to provide food, rescue and relocate displaced people.

The Cabinet was also informed that Comesa has once again extended Kenya’s sugar import quotas, which were ending this year. However, this is the last time the extension will be given.