Business / News
Wednesday, 08 Mar 2017 17:38 EATnmuthoni@kenyafreepress.com
The 92-year-old antique Ndula hydro-power station is set to be converted into a power generation museum once its gazettement as a national heritage site is complete.
The station situated in Gatuanyaga division in Kiambu County 20 kilometres from Thika town was decommissioned in December 2010 following a number of operational challenges. The move will make the historic idle plant the first electric power production Museum in East Africa.
Speaking during the signing of a Memorandum of Understand (MoU) on development of electric power sites between KenGen, KenGen Foundation and the National Museums of Kenya, KenGen MD and CEO Eng Albert Mugo said the decision to convert Ndula into a museum was made after the company ascertained the hydo-power plant had become economically unviable to redevelop for purposes of power generation.
KenGen Foundation will spearhead the conversion process as well as take change of the running of the museum and other support facilities once the process is complete.
“Last year, KenGen’s Board of Directors approved a proposal from KenGen Foundation to have the station gazetted and converted into a national museum to keep in perpetuity the country’s evolution of electric power production and industrial development,” he said.
According to the MoU, the partnership will entail conservation and management of the country’s heritage of electricity generation and conversion of Ndula Power station into a museum through research, documentation, construction of necessary facilities, fabrication and curation of exhibition materials and preservation of the site and existing equipment.
“It will also involve the establishment of opportunities for education and training in heritage conservation and management as well as staff exchange and collaboration through training programs and workshops with special interest in evolution of power generation,” said Eng Mugo.
The Director General, National Museums of Kenya, Dr Mzalendo Kibunjia, said the partnership will help in developing the country’s rich heritage by increasing the number of museums offering diverse information for research, information and education.
He said they will involve local communities in the conservation and management of the power museum through relevant community engagement activities.
“The hydro-power plant and its associate external components like the dam, Thika River and the water falls, which will form the basic display areas, will be preserved with minimal changes so as to present them in the most authentic manner,” said Dr. Kibunjia.
It is envisaged that the Ndula museum will drastically cut on the influx of students and members of the public who seek to visit the Company’s power stations on a daily. The Museum will offer a better learning environment for those seeking to learn more about electric power generation complete with an historic touch.