Nairobi News


Major power blackout leaves millions of Kenyans in darkness

A power blackout hit several parts of the country on Saturday at 6:20pm. Electricity supply is yet to be restored in the affected areas even as Kenya Power says the outage is a result of system disturbance without divulging more details.

The state-owned utility firm has since assured customers that it is doing everything possible to restore normalcy within the shortest time possible.

“We have lost bulk power supply to various parts of the country due to a system disturbance and we are working to restore normalcy within the shortest time possible,” said Kenya Power in a statement on Saturday.

The firm said it will issue an update on the restoration progress in due course.

The power blackout that has hit several parts of the country resulting in financial losses running into millions of shillings as businesses were disrupted.

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The blackout follows a power outage that hit the country in December last year that also left millions without power for hours in what they said was also a system disturbance.

On Saturday, most of the affected areas confirmed an outage a few minutes past 6pm.

The growing incidences of large-scale blackouts are a pain to businesses such as retailers, manufacturers, hospitals, schools, and other entities who are forced to switch to costly temporary power sources such as generators.

Manufacturers, commercial building owners, warehouses, farmers and small businesses such as salons and barbershops largely depend on electricity to operate.

An extended outage usually leads to losses and additional expenses from using generators.

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Frequent blackouts due to supply shortfalls — and sometimes because of aging distribution and transmission infrastructure — have forced most businesses and wealthy homes to have standby generators.

The blackout follows the power outage that hit Nairobi, Mount Kenya and coastal regions early this month causing disruption to businesses. Kenya Power also attributed the blackout to a system disturbance.

In 2021, parts of transmission network connecting Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) to Suswa collapsed affecting evacuation of power from Marsabit.

LTWP is the second largest supplier of electricity to the national grid at peak demand, with the collapse of the transmission towers forcing Kenya Power to resort to costlier thermal power to plug the deficit.

Kenya Power has been grappling with an ageing electricity transmission network that is prone to breakdowns causing undue outages.

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