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Man Electrocuted as Hanging Power Lines Pose Threat

A man was electrocuted at his Kegati farm in  Kiogoro Division Kisii County after handling a barbed wire on which a high voltage power line had fallen on some three days ago.

James Nyambongi met his death while looking for fodder for his livestock when he unknowingly touched the live barbed wire fence on which an electric cable had fallen near an ongoing major water project in the area.

Witnesses said the deceased died on the spot in what residents have expressed their fears over a looming disaster in the making  as  electricity power lives are hanging precariously along carriage ways in the county.

Area Chief Alexander Nyakenyua said the electric wire had fallen three days earlier and accused Kenya Power Company of laxity to respond to distress calls from residents to avert the risks posed by the dangling high voltage cables

Riokindo residents along Riokindo-Nyabitunwa road in Bomachoge Borabu constituency are now calling upon the KPLC to replace posts that are hanging dangerously on the road, those broken, those on the carriageway and loose wires to prevent similar tragedies.

The County Development Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC) which was on an inspection tour of the upgraded Riokindo road to Bitumen Standards discovered that motorists and motorbike riders were plying under sagging electricity poles oblivious of looming danger.

However, KPLC County Business Manager Mang’era Moronge faulted Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KERRA) over delays in honoring payments for quotations totaling Sh.100m meant to rehabilitate electricity lines in the county.

Moronge lamented that quotations done as far back as 2017 have had to be revised severally after expiring within 90 days of issue.

“At least 1000 poles within 50km distance within the county needs to be moved from the road or drainage, or replaced for residents to be secure in the county,” noted Moronge adding “the road links needed Sh.250m for rehabilitation in Riokindo alone.”

The business manager said KERRA had only managed to pay Sh.3.9M for two road links since 2017.

Those yet to be funded include roads in Bonchari at Sh.50m, Kitutu chache north, Sh. 20m and Nyaribari Masaba Sh. 5.8m among others.

Moronge however noted that the major challenge was due to supply of electricity to residents long before the roads were mapped out.

“Rural Electrification Authority did their work using stippling or manual estimation before the roads were mapped,’” said Moronge.

Responding to queries from CDICC on the matter, KERRA boss Eng. Mule Maingi decried the delay in payments of the quotations and requested KPLC to do new quotations of all expired requests for further follow up.

Maingi noted that the Bomachoge Borabu road links contracted to KIU construction Company at a sum of Sh. 1.92b in June 2016 had stalled due to poor cash flow.

He said the 47Km road project completion date was supposed to be August 2019 while completion for maintenance works was August 2022.

He reported that the contractor had requested for extension of completion time citing delays caused by electioneering period in 2017, delay in interim payments and in issuance of instructions for major drainage structures among others.

Other challenges included weather patterns, insufficient fuel due to poor cash flow and low mobilization of resources.

Moronge said the KPLC had identified five contractor companies within the region to do replacements of poles, rerouting and other needed rehabilitation immediately funds were availed to prevent further calamities like happened to Nyambongi whose body was moved to Kisii Teaching and Referral hospital morgue.

He applauded Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) and Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA) for prompt payments on their roads.

By Jane Naitore

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