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KETAWU: Prospect's energy project in Kenya

Prospect has been working in partnership with KETAWU - the Kenya Electrical Trades & Allied Workers Union - to help them meet the challenges of climate adaptation and rapid expansion in Kenya's electricity sector.

KETAWU campaign posterDesigned by KETAWU with technical input by Prospect members and full time officials, the project aimed to build the capacity of KETAWU to deal with the rapid expansion in the production and delivery of electricity, to be able to engage and participate effectively in their country’s energy policy formation, the political processes and with regulators so that as a local sector union KETAWU were equipped with knowledge and skills to keep pace with the anticipated growth, that skills are maintained & developed and that fair and decent labour practices are not eroded as a result of investment.

A key element of the intervention was to facilitate KETAWU realising their strategic objectives within the context of an overall Kenyan vision of clean energy and ambitions of a clean energy future which will enable the country to reduce carbon emissions and improve the quality of life of Kenyans through increased electricity access in rural and urban areas.

So... what changed?

Job security secured: 1,218 one-day casual workers out of the total 3,935 engaged on three-month contract terms immediately.  The remaining to be promoted through the annual staff reviews, with an aim of benefiting 600 low paid workers annually

Visibility: KETAWU posters and flyers visible in all depots, offices and field stations resulting in an increasd awareness and understanding of the role of the union.

Health and safety: Key to protecting and saving lives at work.  Advocacy has begun with management to develop and train newly established health and safety committees and to build on health related programmes for HIV/AIDs, drug and substance abuse.

Corruption: Discussion held with the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission on a list of firms involved in corrupt deals that affect service delivery of electricity. Clear evidence of links to contract labour and labour brokers.

Climate change: Discussions  with Kenya Climate Change Working Group who acknowledged the lack of labours’ voice in their streams of work and lobbying activities. ( Members actively participating in reforestation programmes.

Woman: Secure positions for elected women’s representation at executive level and increased representation of women in leadership aiming to embed discussions with management on workplace sexual harassment.

Community involvement: Nairobi branch members participated in the clean-up initiative of the Nairobi River and Coast Branch members participated in the remediation of a mangrove forest near Mombasa. KETAWU members raised funds for the Ikuu Special School in the Chuka district that realised the purchasing of chairs, food and clothing for the school that accommodates around 106 mainly abandoned mentally disabled children.

Embedded in policy: Through the democratic process, Resolutions of the 6th quinquinnal delegate’s congress (26th February 2011) agreed as policy all elements of the outcomes of the project.

Project documents

  • KETAWU poster
  • Final NEC report

Audio visual links