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Kenya Power links power outages to vandalism

By Mercy Simiyu November 16th, 2023 2 min read

Kenya Power has reported a staggering 46 percent increase in cases of transformer vandalism in the past financial year, impacting 242 transformers compared to the previous year’s 165 units.

In a statement to the media, Kenya Power’s Managing Director Joseph Siror, expressed the gravity of the situation, stating that the concerning surge in criminal activity has resulted in unplanned power outages, causing inconvenience to customers across the country.

“We have witnessed a recent surge in cases of vandalism and illegal connections across the country leading to unplanned power outages that inconvenience our customers,” he said.

Mr. Siror emphasized that the surge in transformer vandalism constitutes a significant menace to the dependability of Kenya’s power supply infrastructure.

He underscored that the compromised quality of the power supply has direct repercussions on the economy, highlighting the indispensable nature of a stable and reliable electricity supply for sustained economic growth.

“Instances of theft, damage, and illegal interference with transformers not only lead to financial losses for the utility company but also disrupt the seamless provision of electricity services to consumers,” He said.

In response to the escalating challenges, Kenya Power has forged a partnership with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to combat the increasing threats. The DCI has deployed 42 officers to collaborate closely with Kenya Power’s security team and other pertinent departments, working collectively to curb incidents of vandalism, theft of electricity and fiber, and illegal encroachment of wayleaves.

“The DCI will continue supporting investigations and protecting the energy sector against criminal activities whenever we are called upon. Through partnerships such as the one we now have with Kenya Power, we will work collaboratively for purposes of following the money trail, especially among those handling stolen copper and oil from vandalized transformers, so that the masterminds of these activities are arrested and prosecuted,” said Paul Wachira, Deputy Director for Investigations at the DCI.

According to KPLC, from July of the previous year until now, a cumulative number of 1,026 individuals have been apprehended and taken to court for engaging in various illicit activities within the electricity network. Among these cases, 472 instances are linked to acts of vandalism, theft of energy equipment, and the destruction of energy infrastructure.

Kenya has suffered three major power outages in the last six months with the most recent one on November 11, 2023, lasting six hours.

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