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Kenya Power links power outages to vandalism

Kenya, Nairobi: Kenya Power has reported a 46 percent increase in cases of transformer vandalism in the past financial year, impacting 242 transformers compared to the previous year’s 165.

Kenya Power’s Managing Director Joseph Siror, said that the concerning surge in criminal activity has resulted in unplanned power outages, causing inconvenience to customers across the country. “We have witnessed a recent surge in cases of vandalism and illegal connections across the country leading to unplanned power outages that inconvenience our customers,” he said.

He emphasized that the vandalism constitutes a menace to the dependability of Kenya’s power infrastructure and that the compromised quality of the power supply has direct repercussions on the economy, highlighting the indispensable nature of a stable and reliable electricity supply for sustained economic growth. “Instances of theft, damage, and illegal interference with transformers not only lead to financial losses for the utility company but also disrupt the seamless provision of electricity services to consumers,” he said.

In response to the vandalism, Kenya Power has forged a partnership with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI). The DCI has deployed 42 officers to collaborate with Kenya Power’s security team and other pertinent departments, working to curb incidents of vandalism, theft of electricity and fiber, and illegal encroachment of wayleaves.

According to KPLC, from July of the previous year until now, a cumulative number of 1,026 individuals have been apprehended and taken to court for engaging in various illicit activities within the electricity network. Among these cases, 472 instances are linked to acts of vandalism, theft of energy equipment, and the destruction of energy infrastructure. Kenya has suffered three major power outages in the last six months with the most recent one on November 11, 2023, lasting six hours.

Source: Nairobi News