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Transformer vandals put on notice

Members of the public have been cautioned against vandalizing electricity transformers and tampering with power meters.

The Principal Secretary in the State Department for Energy Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Gordon Kihalangwa, said people who vandalize transformers endanger the lives of those admitted in hospitals and in particular patients at the intensive care unit and infants in incubators.

He said those who will be caught vandalizing power equipment will face the law, since the government spends a lot of money on purchasing and installing of the equipment.

The PS at the same time urged industrialists and all individuals benefiting from power supply to pay their bills promptly since the government uses colossal amount of money to provide all with adequate power.

Kihalangwa disclosed that the government is putting in place a comprehensive plan to have tariffs that will be affordable to both industrialists and individuals by ensuring that the prices are controlled through the tariff which will not be more than 5 percent.

He said the government’s promise last year to reduce the tariff by 15 percent was achieved at the end of December 2021 and assured that the remaining percent is in progress.

“The government is mandated to provide clean affordable power in the country and will ensure that industrialists do not leave the country because of tariffs but remain to employ and engage the youth in productive activities,” assured Kihalangwa.

He said the government is also looking on how well it can harness the available energy resources from the six sources which include hydro power, dams, geothermal, solar, wind power and bio mass, adding that the country’s maximum power generation currently is at 2,900 megawatts.

The PS who was speaking during the SemaNaSpox virtual weekly forum to inform Kenyans on the Status of Last Mile Electricity Connectivity at Media Centre, Telposta Towers, said Kenya Power Company transmits power to about 3,800 industries which use heavy power.

“KPLC also transmits power to schools, hospitals and for domestic use through transmission lines which stretch over 6,890 kilometres,” he added

He announced that in the year 2014, only about 1.8 million people were connected to power but to date a total of 8.7 million people have been connected, a 75 percent achievement.

“The government has also connected street lighting at a total of 178, 000 latens across the country which has improved security and allowed people to operate business 24 hours,” said the PS.

In his remarks, Government Spokesperson Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna, said the government has managed to bring the cost of power down, a move he said has made the country attractive for investment.

“For the last eight years, the government has connected 8.7 million households with power to improve the well-being of the people and make them achieve their full potential,” said Oguna.

He expressed confidence that in the next 5 to 10 years, power connection in the country will be at 100 percent as every household will be connected, since electricity is crucial in achieving Vision 2030.

Other panelists who spoke during the meeting were Engineer Kennedy Ogolla, Acting General Manager Infrastructure Development at KPLC, and Dr David Gitonga, the General Manager Business Development at the Rural Area Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation.

By Bernadette Khaduli and Fardosa Bonaya

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