Migori residents have been urged to report thieves vandalising Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) transformers.
This is in the wake of the company losing nine transformers in the past three months.
The Migori Kenya Power and Lighting Company manager George Nyambare said that the vandalism of the transformers has been causing huge losses to the company as well as to the area residents that use power to run their daily businesses.
The official explained that replacing a transformer costs the company between Sh 500,000 to Sh 700,000 depending on the size, a costly affair that always places consumers in darkness for days.
He added that the vandals look for transformer copper winding wire and oil that they sell in black markets within the region.
The huge demand for copper wire in the black market automotive and cable industries has made the vandals to step up their efforts to make quick cash by vandalising transformers.
The perpetrators have also found quick markets for copper in scrap metal and welding businesses.
Nyambare emphasised that the high resistance to vitiation and degradation and high-temperature stability of the transformer oil is one of the major reasons that have been cited as a reason why vandals target the product.
He called upon the area residents to report any cases concerning the KPLC’s equipment thefts to the nearby chief’s camps and police posts to help the company serve them better.
Three weeks ago, three people in Awendo Sub County were nabbed with transformer oil and other components of the transformers while attempting to sell them in Awendo.
The official also called upon the residents to deists from planting trees along the power lines to prevent power interruptions. He however, cautioned the residents to seek the approval of the company before cutting down any trees along the power lines.
“Trees are good conductors of energy that discharge power to the ground and a person can be electrocuted if they touch the affected trees”, noted Nyambare.
By Geoffrey Makokha