EXTRA POWER PLEDGE

KP denies switching off power during prayer time

Garissa residents blame firm for outages during Ramadhan

In Summary

•Kenya Power blames the problem on many people using electricity at the same time.

•A 2.5 MVA transformer is being added to boost the capacity of the existing equipment.

Garissa township MP Aden Duale at the Garissa sub-station on sunday.
picture of Duale Garissa township MP Aden Duale at the Garissa sub-station on sunday.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Kenya Power has denied deliberately switching off electricity in Garissa in the evenings.

Residents complain that Garissa town has been experiencing power outages since the first day of Ramadhan.

The outage happens from 7.30pm and lasts for four hours as the Muslim faithful observe Taraweeh prayers.

Clerics and the faithful have threatened to demonstrate against the parastatal.

Garissa Township MP Aden Duale visited the KP sub-station yesterday and was told that the outages were a result of many people using electricity at the same time. 

 "There is nothing like sabotage. We don’t have any sinister motive as alleged in some quarters. The only cause of the power outages is Ramadhan where you find that a lot of power is consumed at the time," the sub-station head, Kevin Nyakundi, said.

Nyakundi said the transformer that serves the town is a 7.5 MVA and trips on overload.  He said a 2.5 MVA transformer will be added to boost the capacity of existing transformers.

“This is a temporary solution because forward we are going to bring another 7.5 MVA transformer which we expect will take up the load for the next four to five years as the town grows," he said.

Duale thanked KP management for acting swiftly to solve the problems and urged the residents to be patient and give the firm time to complete the installation and connections.

“I want to appeal to the residents to give the team time to do its work. I don’t think there is any sinister motive. No one is switching off the lights. As Muslims observe Ramadhan, we don't want to see them inconvenienced since the majority pray the whole night," he said.

The chairman of the Kenya Livestock Marketing Council, Dubat Amey, on Friday said it is unacceptable that two years after the town was connected to the national grid, Garissa town is back to the old days when power outages were the order of the day.

Amey said Kenya Power engineers should have foreseen a situation where power consumption was to go up during Ramadhan and sorted out the problem.

He said many Muslims are inconvenienced since Taraweh is an important prayer during fasting.