Widespread blackouts in different parts of the country on Monday, January 10 and Tuesday, January 11 have left Kenyans fuming, while also highlighting operational inefficiencies at Kenya Power.
Responding to individual customers who raised complaints on January 10, Kenya Power stated: “We are experiencing a technical hitch on one of our main line.” They assured customers that a team was on site.
A day later, on Tuesday, January 11, the lights were gone yet again in several different areas sparking a surge of online complaints to KPLC. In parts Nairobi at least, the blackout has lasted for several hours.
KPLC atrributed the situation to the morning collapse of high voltage transmission towers along Mombasa road on Tuesday.
The fall of the towers on had attracted a large crowd of onlookers in the Imara Daima area. KPLC quickly dispatched a team to begin repairs.
“We have lost power supply due to collapses towers on the Kiambere – Embakasi high voltage transmission power line at 10.45 am this morning,” Kenya Power confirmed in a statement.
Flooded by requests and responses from frustrated Kenyans, the firm apologized for the inconvenience caused.
The firm promised to issue updates on the restoration of the power supply. Pent up frustration from many Kenyans, however, boiled over with Kenya Power the subject of all sorts of comments, messages and memes.
Kenya Power this year effected a 15% price cut for power consumers with a further 15% cut expected in coming months.
Elimination of system losses and operational inefficiencies at the firm form a key part of the plank for delivery of the promise made in December 2021 by President Uhuru Kenyatta. The constant blackouts have, however, cast doubts on Kenya Power’s ability to sustain the price cuts.
Many Kenyans demanded reforms at the firm and the energy sector at large. Among them was active citizen Jerotich Seii who has long taken on Kenya Power in and out of court.
She notably told off a small section of Kenyans online who called for military involvement at Kenya Power as has been witnessed at state bodies including the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) under President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration.
She wrote: “The worst company strikes again but don’t be deceived. Kenya Power is not the only problem. #SwitchOffKPLC focuses on the entire sector.”
“Generation Transmission Distribution & Sales. Laws have been broken. Theft is rampant. So, forget about an unconstitutional military solution.”