345 people have been electrocuted across the country in the last three years, Kenya Power Manager for Safety, Health and Environment, John Guda, has said.
Guda attributed 74 percent of the electrocutions to unsafe public practices, including illegal connections, poor wiring, vandalism and wayleave encroachments while 26 percent of the deaths were caused by negligence and non-compliant standards of Kenya Power and contractors.
“In the 2018/2019 fiscal year 104 deaths were recorded while 148 people were electrocuted in 2019/2020. In the current financial year 93 people have lost their lives so far,” said Guda.
Speaking in a hotel in Wote town during a sensitization workshop for National Government Administrative Officers (NGAOs), the Manager termed the trend as worrying and underscored the need for public awareness to curb the deaths.
“As we increase our connection, we have also seen an increase of electrocutions in the country which is a concern for us and that is why we are sensitizing the public on electrical safety,’’ he said.
The Safety Manager singled out Nakuru as the worst hit county in terms of electrocution.
Others include Kiambu, Uasin Gishu, Kisii, Nyamira, Makueni, Busia, Siaya and Kwale counties.
He called on Kenyans to shun illegal connections and instead urged them to approach Kenya Power for connectivity to avoid deaths
“We are also asking Kenyans to contract licensed technicians and electricians to avoid shoddy wiring, especially in homesteads,” said Guda.
He also decried vandalism in the country which he said led to economic loss not only for Kenya Power but also business enterprises.
“Vandalism causes outages which translates into economic losses and we are asking NGAOs to provide security for electrical infrastructure,” he said.
He said Kenya Power in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior and National Coordination had so far conducted similar workshops in 13 other counties to create awareness on electrical safety.
‘‘We are using Chiefs and Assistant Chiefs because they have established structures that can help cascade the information to the public,” said Guda.
On his part, Makueni Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Mr. Joel Mwangala, reiterated the need to prevent electrocution deaths.
His sentiments come barely two weeks after a university student engaged in the Kazi Mtaani Project was electrocuted at Kiu area in Makindu Sub-county.
According to the Safety Manager, six people in Makueni have been electrocuted in the last two years.
By Roselyne Kavoo and Patrick Nyakundi