Over 140 Kenyans have lost their lives due to electrocution as the Kenya power company lost 127 transformers to vandals last year.
According to a senior company official, vandalism cost the company a loss of over Sh 40 million which was used to repair or replace the vandalised infrastructure.
Kenya Power Company’s safety manager, John Guda said that the electrocutions were as a result of illegal public practices that, he added, accounts for 74 percent of the incidents in the country.
Speaking during a one-day public electrical safety sensitisation workshop for national government administration officers in Siaya, Guda said that this year alone, 93 deaths occasioned by electrocution have been reported.
Most of the deaths, said the safety manager, were as a result of poor wiring and illegal connections, extensions and vandalism of the power lines that account for 24%, 16.3 and 11% respectively.
He said that Siaya County accounts for six percent of the national figures, adding that it was the leading in Nyanza region.
The safety manager told the meeting that brought together administrators from Siaya’s seven sub counties, led by County Commissioner Michael ole Tialal that the county had recorded a surge in transformer vandalism where nine transformers had been vandalised in Bondo and Ugunja sub counties.
Guda called on chiefs, their assistants and the public at large to help protect power infrastructure to curb loss of lives.
Addressing the occasion, the County Commissioner called on chiefs and their assistants to take a leading role in sensitizing the public on electrical safety and the need to protect Kenya power infrastructure.
Tialal said that the administrators will be held accountable for vandalism of transformers in their areas of operation.
By Calvin Otieno and Philip Onyango