• June 18, 2024
  • Last Update June 18, 2024 3:54 PM
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KPLC meets Scrap Metal Council and COFEK to address Vandalism of power Infrastructure

KPLC meets Scrap Metal Council and COFEK to address Vandalism of power Infrastructure

Nairobi,

Wednesday, May 21, 2024

KNA by Sharon Atieno

Kenya Power, Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK) and Scrap Metal Council have agreed to implement policies against vandalism of the infrastructure among them transformers and metals.

Kenya Power and Lighting Company Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Eng. Joseph Siror said the Company would work together with other institutions, energy sectors and members of public in order to eradicate vandalism of energy equipment to enable every citizen to get affordable and reliable power for their livelihood.

Siror said power plays a crucial role in everything that people do and KPLC would not condone incidences of vandalism which inconvenience customers and risk both human and animal lives as they leave power infrastructure exposed leading to the possibility of electrocution.

He added the sectors that solely depended on power without backup such as the high dependency and intensive care units increased the cost of doing business, risked widespread power outages, compromised law and order leading to loss of foreign investments among other negative effects.

Citing the impact of power outage and vandalism, the CEO in the year 2023 was some 365 transformers worth Sh328 million were lost while this year, a total of 78 transformers have been vandalized, adding that the loss of the transformers would make the company incur high costs of installing new ones.

The CEO was speaking during a press conference with Consumers Federation of Kenya and Scrap Metal Council on eradicating vandalism of national infrastructure among them transformers and metals on Wednesday at a Nairobi hotel.

Siror said that the nature in which the vandalism crimes were committed was troubling, and required stakeholders to join hands to eliminate it and make the country a convenient place to do business.

Eng. Siror said that the challenge in combating the menace lies in a far reaching consequences, and that the implementation of the Energy Act of 2019 has been an avenue for most future actions.

“Criminals tampering with electricity supply installations, damage of street lights and power installations will attract a fine of Sh5million or 5 years’ imprisonment,” he warned.

He added that the Energy Act not only addresses vandalism but also protects shared resources as a collective responsibility and commended the Judiciary for supporting the sector.

He revealed that in the year 2022 and 2024, KPLC has had 12 successful convictions where the culprits have been sentenced to serve jail terms while 166 cases were pending in courts. He hoped the cases would be expedited soon as this would minimize vandalism.

“We have embarked on initiatives including collaborative partnerships with law enforcement agents who include the National Police Service, National Intelligence Service, Directorate of Criminal Investigations and National Government Administration Officers,” he revealed.

Eng. Siror at the same time stated that the partnership has enabled KPLC recover at least 1,178 electricity handles between the year 2022 and 2024 and to protect the safety of transformers unit based on channel installation.

“We have also enhanced our patrols and surveillance on road scrap metal divas while working with the community,” he said adding that the Company would collaborate with stakeholders in metal industry to transition from a reactive response mechanism to a protective response.

He stated that destruction of infrastructure, particularly transformers should be denounced by everyone since it is a crime against all Kenyans.

The CEO said for the country to have reliable electricity, the export of copper should be banned, noting that in the year 2023, Kenya exported copper waste and scrap worth Sh6.7 billion yet it does not produce the same.

“By failing to protect our infrastructural assets, we are collectively digging ourselves into a big problem since the process will be recovered from customers or taxpayers through increased tariffs and taxes,” he reminded Kenyans.

In his remarks, the Secretary General Consumers Federation of Kenya Stephen Mutoro noted that the cost of vandalism has inconvenienced the citizenry as it has caused power outages, affected water supply and cut off railway lines among others.

“As COFEK, we believe in creating solutions, the problem has been focused on the supply side. It is a high time to shift the burden from the supply side and demand side,” he said.

Mutoro urged the government and private sectors to come up with a policy that would form the community policing against vandalism, adding that the policy was vital as intelligence cannot be shared through community policing without a policy.

Courtesy; KNA

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