KPLC accused of poor services in Kilifi

Tourism stakeholders accuse agency of not having emergency response team; outages causing huge losses

In Summary

• Tourism players say power distributor does not respond in time whenever they are notified of an emergency

• KPLC Coast regional manager says agency has begun engaging stakeholders to ensure better services

Kenya Power is on the spot for constant power outages and poor emergency response in Kilifi.

Tourism players say the power distributor does not respond in time whenever they are notified of an emergency.

The agency has failed to have a proper customer care desk, making it difficult for clients to seek services, they said.

This emerged yesterday during a meeting and dinner organised by Kenya Power and the Kenya Coast Tourism Association in Malindi.

The event was aimed at engaging small and medium enterprises to know the problems they face and to get permanent solutions.

Philemon Mwavala, vice chairman of KCTA, said they have been at the forefront of advocacy on major issues affecting tourism including electricity supply.

Justin Kitsao, the chairman of Watamu Marine Association, said poor supply has caused losses of billions of shillings to the stakeholders.

“Kenya Power meter readers are also not accurate. At times they just estimate and charge high bills. We want the authorities to give answers," he said.

Said Hashim, a manager of Kuldip Safaris, said sometimes nearly three quarters of Malindi town is in darkness at night, which is a major security threat as people risk being robbed.

Majid Swaleh, chairman of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce, wondered why Malindi has no hotline for emergency response yet there were a lot of investments.

“We hear that KPLC offers 24 hour service but at night Malindi is dark. No one in the offices also takes complaints. We sent a complaint letter but were told to wait until the manager receives it. The letter has not been responded to up to now," he said.

Maureen Awuor, the general manager of Ocean Beach Resort and Spa, said constant blackouts have contributed to heavy losses.

“The response unit is as good as dead. If we have a blackout in five minutes, it’s a big issue to our clients,” she said.

Freddie de Curatolo who spoke for the Italian community that owns hotels and many private villas said they have been forced to spend a lot of many to buy power stabilizers and generators.

During blackouts TVs, freezes and other electronic gadgets are damaged.

“Are you doing something to stabilize power if it goes so that during blackouts it does not affect us?” he said.

Peter Bateman from Mnarani in Kilifi accused KPLC of billing power up to 200 per cent despite the fact that they were in global competition.

Francis Mathenge, an activist, said KPLC's response team is slow and any fault could take up to one week to be rectified .

Hicks Waswa, the KPLC Coast regional manager, said the agency has begun engaging stakeholders to ensure their issues are addressed effectively.

“There is a hotline but there should be a reason why it’s not picked. Nowadays we have an active online platform and we capture  the data of everyone in the SMEs so as to ensure they are handled effectively," he said.

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