Kenya Power (KP) company and national government administration (Ngao) officers from Siaya County have entered into a partnership aimed at curbing the rising cases of transformer vandalism in the region.
According to the KP county Business Manager Eng. Joshua Oliech, the partnership with Ngao officials would also improve safety of people living in the region through mitigation of cases of electrocution where human and animal lives have been lost.
Eng. Oliech disclosed that since January this year, KP has incurred losses of about Sh11million following vandalism of eleven transformers across the county, six of the cases being in Bondo alone.
While speaking in Bondo during a meeting with NGAO officials led by area Deputy County commissioner Mr Julius Otieno, Eng. Oliech said the collaboration with chiefs, assistant chiefs, Assistant County Commissioner and the police would not only curb cases of transformer vandalism but also avert deaths caused by electrocution.
“The collaboration will enable quick relaying of information to avert cases of vandalism and also enable quick response from KP to mitigate on cases of loss of both human and animal lives as well as destruction of property,” he said.
Eng. Oliech further disclosed that KP is empowering chiefs and their assistants in the county to adopt the various transformers in their areas of jurisdiction to avert cases of vandalism.
“By empowering the chiefs and their assistants to adopt transformers, it means we are giving them extra authority to stop and interrogate anybody without KP identification documents or uniform when they find trying to access their adopted transformers so as to mitigate cases of unauthorized interference of transformers,” said Eng. Oliech.
The business manager also stated that KP has begun relocation of transformers which were initially installed at isolated areas to more secure places like public institutions or places with more inhabitants as a way of curbing vandalism besides welding the transformers on grills to make it difficult for the vandals to access.
Eng. Oliech revealed that the police are currently pursuing suspects believed to be behind the numerous cases of KP transformer vandalism in the region adding that a few people have already been arrested and more arrests were expected by the Criminal Investigation Police Unit (CIPU).
Area DCC Julius Otieno who hosted the delegation of KP staff from the National, regional and county office assured KP that the sub county security and intelligence team would work with them to ensure that the KP critical infrastructures are protected.
Otieno disclosed that his team intended to reign in on scrap metal dealers in the region who were believed to be behind vandalism of transformers adding that his team would adopt a proactive approach of sharing information to curb the vice.
He on the other hand appealed to members of the public to join hands with NGAO and Kenya Power by alerting the authority about activities of vandalism because they are the major beneficiaries of KP services.
By Brian Ondeng