Kenya Power addresses material shortage, outages

Covid-19 disrupted supply of equipment

In Summary

•KPLC has been receiving outages complaints from consumers in different parts of the country, with faulty transformers being among the problems.

•Naivasha residents recently witnessed  a two-days outage which left them counting losses running into thousands of shillings.

Kenya Power technicians working on a power line/FILE
Kenya Power technicians working on a power line/FILE

Kenya Power and Lighting Company has moved in to resolve electricity transmission equipment shortage occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic, which disrupted its supplies.

When international air travel stopped in March, to contain the spread of the virus, the utility firm was hit by a shortage of equipment mainly from China which was under lockdown.  

International flights however resumed on August 1, with almost all leading airlines now flying to Nairobi.

KPLC has been receiving outages complaints from consumers in different parts of the country, with faulty transformers being among the problems.

The most affected parts in Nakuru were Kinungi and parts of Gilgil where some consumers were in darkness for months, after transformers were vandalized or developed electrical faults.

Speaking to the Star on phone,communications manager Kevin Sang confirmed there has been challenges at the height of the pandemic, which have since been resolved.

He denied allegations of a crisis in electricity transmissions.

“We currently have enough transformers and other electricity transmission equipments contrary to other reports,” he said.

On the affected areas, he said the company engineers were working on the delays adding that it took days to source the appropriate transformer for a particular region.

“Some of the transformers have been vandalized and we do not rush the following day to replace them as there is due procedure,” he said.

However a senior officer from the company who declined to be named said that there was a shortage of the transformers, pre-paid meters and power cables.

The officer said the shortage has been going on for the last four months, with demand higher than supply, leading to the current crisis.

“At the moment we have a backlog in the number of consumers who want to be connected to electricity or want a new transformer as there are very few in the stores,” he said.

Naivasha residents recently witnessed  a two-days outage which left them counting losses running into thousands of shillings.

The latest one  left residents of Naivasha Prison, Site and parts of the town in darkness for over 12 hours.

The company blamed windy conditions for the power loss.

On Tuesday, a lorry crashed into a power line along the Naivasha-Mai Mahiu road plunging the whole town into darkness for over five hours.