Nairobi News

GeneralHustleNewsWhat's Hot

Help us! South B traders plead with Kenya Power over fire outbreaks

Residents of the South B trading centre in Nairobi South Ward are appealing to Kenya Power to address the persistent fire outbreaks that have left them grappling with millions of shillings in losses.

The recent fire incident on Kapiti Road has intensified concerns among traders who attribute the fires to illegal connections, posing a significant threat to their businesses.

On December 16, a devastating fire erupted in one of the shops, quickly spreading to engulf a total of 11 shops, leaving little salvageable. The affected traders are now urging the government and Kenya Power to intervene by providing a formal connection process that is both accessible and affordable.

Elizabeth Mueni, a recent fire victim, pleaded with fellow residents to avoid illegal connections and instead apply for formal connections from Kenya Power.

Ms Mueni stressed the need for government support, urging Kenya Power to reduce electricity costs for small business owners.

“The government should help us as small business people. Kenya Power should connect us to the system and reduce the cost of electricity for us because we are hustlers, but they should not put a lot of conditions on the standard of our businesses because that is what we cannot set up,” said Ms. Mueni.

Also read: Accidents killed fewer Kenyans in 2023 – CS Murkomen

Accusations have also been raised against Kenya Power officials for allegedly ignoring the prevalence of illegal connections managed by certain individuals with connections within the company.

James Maina Nguru, working closely with the area chief officer, convened a meeting with traders along Kapiti Road and Aoko Road to address the issue of illegal connections.

The meeting, attended by the area’s County Assembly member, Ms. Waithera Chege, aimed to draw Kenya Power’s attention to the need for formalized connections to safeguard the traders’ businesses.

“We agreed that before the traders start rebuilding their shops, we must first assess the area and put in place measures that will prevent a recurrence of the fire,” said Nguru.

Ms. Chege urged Kenya Power to dispatch officials promptly to disconnect all illegal connections in South B market.

She emphasised the importance of formalizing power connections to prevent further destruction of businesses in the area.

“We have come up with a solution and we are asking Kenya Power to formalize power connection and distribution in South B because if we continue with such illegal connections, our estates will soon be destroyed,” said Ms. Chege.

In the past year, Kenya Power launched a crackdown on illegal connections in Nairobi County, including areas like Mathare, Mukuru, and Kibera, in an effort to recoup losses amounting to nearly Sh2 billion caused by illegal connections.