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Kenya Power, Interior Ministry conduct safety campaigns

The Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) on Tuesday said 345 people have been electrocuted in the country over the last three years.

John Guda the Kenya Power Manager for Safety, Health, and Environment added 93 people have died from electrocution in the current financial year.

He spoke during a sensitization workshop in Wote, stressing over 70 percent of the electrocutions are mainly as a result of illegal connections, poor wiring, unsafe public practices, and vandalism.

30 percent of the other cases are as a result of negligence by KPLC staff and contractors.

Nakuru was the leading county followed by Kiambu, Uasin Gishu, Kisii, Nyamira, Makueni, Busia, Siaya, and Kwale counties.

According to Guda, the numbers were concerning, adding that there is a need for a sensitization campaign on best practices and safety precautions around the subject.

He further noted that KPLC in conjunction with the Interior Ministry has so far conducted 13 county sensitization forums to enlighten Kenyans on electrical safety.

The numbers portray a worrying trend considering that very few cases of electrocution are always reported in the country.

In March, the power company was ordered to pay a schoolboy in Meru Sh15.7 million as damages for injuries suffered after being electrocuted while herding cattle.

Justice Francis Gikonyo ordered the power utility firm to pay the student code-named in court papers DA a sum of Sh15,729,500 as damages for pain, suffering, and loss of amenities, medical expenses incurred, doctor’s fees, and future medical expenses.

Evidence in court indicated that the student touched a live electric wire after tripping and falling while grazing cattle at Kilemi/Kautine, Antubetwe Location in Igembe North District in October 2015. The wire was lying loosely on the ground.

The boy, who was 16 years at the time of the accident, was forced to drop out of school.

The victim was admitted at Maua Methodist hospital for four months and his arm was amputated due to severe burns.

He said a prosthesis costing Sh8 million was recommended for him to help him conduct his daily activities. Also, maintenance of the prosthesis is estimated to cost Sh1 million.

On their part, Kenya Power submitted that it was not clear where the incident occurred and the plaintiff was negligent in failing to ensure his own safety.

The company stated that the student should be held 100 percent liable. In disputing liability, it submitted that the plaintiff failed to discharge his “burden of proof” in respect of the electric wires loosely hanging.