Monday, May 20, 2024
Home > Counties > KPLC sensitises public against vandalising transformers

KPLC sensitises public against vandalising transformers

The Kenya Power Company has sensitised the public in Murang’a County on the safe use of electricity, illegal power connections, and transformer vandalism.

Speaking in Kenol on Wednesday during the flag-off of the customer sensitization roadshow, Kenya Power’s Regional Manager, Mt Kenya Dr. Eng Ariel Mutegi, observed that Murang’a County has had increased cases of transformer vandalism.

“In the last three months, we have witnessed the vandalism of eight transformers, which is too unfortunate because, as much as the company has incurred massive losses, the customers have suffered the most, and the security of the public has been compromised when blackouts occur from time to time,” he said.

He noted that through a multi-agency approach to the issue, together with the help of members of the public, some suspects had already been arrested in connection with the vandalism and were aiding police in the investigation to end the menace.

“We have 2800 transformers in Murang’a County, and we do not want any of our customers to go without electricity during the festive season. That is why we are calling on members of the public to be extra vigilant, as not all blackouts are as a result of a technical hitch,” said Eng Mutegi.

He added, “together with the government administrators, we will do our best to thwart these vandals once we get information from members of the public whom we urge to stay alert, especially those within the vicinity of transformers.”

Murang’a County Commissioner, Joseph Mukuria, KPC Mt Kenya Region Manager Ariel Mutegi, and Murang’a County Police Commander David Mathieu during the flag-off. Photo by Florence Kinyua

Mutegi said the surge in scrap metal dealers in the county has also perpetuated the vandalism as vandals target the copper wire inside the transformer for sale to scrap metal dealers.

Eng Mutegi further sent a strong message of warning to those vandalising the transformers, as the Energy Act stipulates that a person who willfully vandalises or attempts to vandalise energy installation and infrastructure, steals or attempts to steal or destroy any energy appliance, or illegally handles any energy equipment is deemed to have committed an economic crime and, upon conviction, is liable to a fine of not less than Sh.5 million or imprisonment of 10 years or both.

He also noted that in the future, the Power Company will have diverse ways to deter vandalism by making adjustments to the poles, raising the transformers even higher, and erecting them in compounds.

On his part, Murang’a County Commissioner Patrick Mukuria said the county security team, in collaboration with residents, has formed transformer surveillance committees in all the sub-counties to ensure no vandalism takes place.

The CC said that with the help of the committees and members of the public, they have managed to thwart many attempted transformer vandalisms.

“It is not only KPC that suffers in the case of blackouts occasioned by transformer vandalism, but business people like welders, barbers, and institutions like hospitals and the general public bear the brunt of vandalism the heaviest,” he said.

He further urged members of the public to be on the frontlines to protect Kenya’s power infrastructure and report those they witnessed interfering with the transformers.

By Florence Kinyua

Leave a Reply