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KPLC decries vandalism of power infrastructure in the coastal region

KPLC decries vandalism of power infrastructure in the coastal region

Kwale,

Sunday, March 24, 2024

KNA by Hussein Abdullahi

Kenya Power is collaborating with security agencies in the coastal region to mitigate vandalism of power infrastructure and theft of power distribution equipment.

The power utility firm says it has heightened crackdown on theft of electrical equipment and surveillance of its network across the coastal region.Eng. Phineas Marete the firm’s Manager for Coast region says Kenya power is out to curb vandalism that impacts on the power distribution network.

Eng. Marete says they are working closely with the security agencies and National Government Administrative Officers (NGAO) in the crackdown of vandalism that targets the electricity infrastructure.

“The unfortunate acts of vandalism that targets the electricity assets such as transformers and electricity towers usually plunges Kenyans into darkness,” he said.

Marete expressed the views at a forum in Pride Inn Hotel organized by the power utility firm for journalists based in Kwale County.He says while customers grapple with electricity shortages the situation is often compounded by incessant vandalism of power assets.

“Increases cases of vandalism and energy theft through illegal connections has prompted us to work with the security agencies to assist us in the protection of our power installations to enable work to go on effectively,” he said.

He said increased incidents of vandalism of electrical assets in Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi counties leads to power supply disruptions and huge financial and reputational losses to the power company.

The KPLC regional official termed the state of theft and vandalism of transformers and power line cables in Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi counties as deplorable.

He said rampant vandalism in the three coastal counties has forced KPLC to rope in the security agencies in the hunt for the vandals.He says the police and KPLC have come together to fight off vandalism of power systems, equipment and materials blamed on scrap metal businesses.

“Cases of vandalism forces us to expend a lot of resources in repairing and replacing damaged power equipment,” he said and called on concerted efforts from stakeholders to contain the menace.

He reiterated the resolve of KPLC towards fighting vandalism and called on well-meaning and law-abiding Kenyans to work together with the power company in fighting the menace.

Marete says darkness caused by vandalism and energy theft threatens the economy as industries are shut because companies cannot meet production targets and may operate below installed capacity.He says vandalism runs counter to the country’s quest for improved and steady power supply for domestic and industrial purposes.

“We want all and sundry to join us in the fight against vandalism of vital power assets from the grip of criminals,” he said.Eng. Marete says KPLC will not waver from its mandate of providing quality, safe and reliable electricity services despite the numerous setbacks it faces such as the twin problems of theft and vandalism.

Eng. Marete at the same time urged road agencies such as Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA), Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) and Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) to liaise with the power company during road constructions.

He says the road agencies should seek their input whenever building new roads and upgrading existing ones to safeguard electricity poles along the roads.

“We have realized whenever new roads are being put up or old ones expanded they lead to the collapse of electricity poles and result in disruption of power supplies,” he said.

Courtesy; KNA

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