BACK UP PLAN

City Hall to buy Sh13m generator to counter frequent power outages

County government has been at loggerheads with Kenya Power over bill arrears since 2014

In Summary
  • The two entities have been at loggerheads over the arrears since 2014.
  • The county government claims Kenya Power also owes it millions in wayleave and rent arrears.
Nairobi City County Hall.
CITY HALL: Nairobi City County Hall.
Image: FILE

To counter its frequent power outages due to unpaid bills, City Hall has allocated Sh13 million for a generator in the Financial Year 2020-21.

The allocation is part of the Sh128 million that Anne Kananu's administration is set to spend this year on different projects to give City Hall building a new image through repainting, renovation and rehabilitation.

The plans are contained in the Nairobi County Annual Development Plan for the financial year ending June 30, 2023.

Sh13 million will go towards the purchase of a generator, as part of projects under the office of the governor for the financial year ending June 30, 2021, ” reads the document.

To bring to an end perennial power blackouts caused by Kenya Power cutting off electricity supply over unpaid bills, Nairobi county assembly in May allocated Sh691 million to clear the county government’s outstanding bill.

According to Nairobi County Debt Management Strategy Paper for the financial year ending June 30, 2022, City Hall owed the power firm Sh691.58 million in electricity bills.

However, another blackout was experienced in July, forcing City Hall to run under a generator.

The two entities have been at loggerheads over the arrears since 2014 with the county government claiming Kenya Power also owes it millions in wayleave and rent arrears.

However, Kenya Power has responded by disconnecting electricity to Nairobi county government buildings or institutions.

The first outage was in January 2015, when City Hall was plunged into darkness for three days.

In 2016, Kenya Power threatened to cut off supply to City Hall Annex, Mama Lucy Hospital, Pumwani Hospital, public primary and nursery schools, and county depots as well as streetlights.

This forced City Hall to go to court obtaining an order barring the firm from disconnecting power to its facilities until a case it had filed is heard and determined.

The court order bought some time for the county but in June 2018, Kenya Power struck again disconnecting supply to City Hall and City Hall Annex for two days forcing the two county buildings to use generators to power their operations.

This was after the county government lost a court battle to stop Kenya Power from disconnecting supply to its facilities.

The power cut affected City Hall, City Hall annex, county level 4 hospitals and county streetlights over the outstanding power bill which stood at Sh748 million at the time.

City Hall had to pay Sh15 million and promise to clear the balance in installments to have electricity reconnected.

 

-Edited by SKanyara