Kenya Power and Kenya Railways have stepped up efforts to combat public infrastructure vandalism that has led to huge losses to the government and customers.
Kenya Power North Rift region senior security officer Daniel Yagan and his Kenya Railways counterpart Kenneth Kiogora put vandals on notice during a sensitization workshop for National Government Administration Officers at Bishop Sulumeti Girl’s in Lugari Sub County.
Yagan cited vandalism of transformers, distribution lines, streeting conductors and equipment, illegal lines, way-leave infringement, interference of existing lines by road contactors, and evasion of payment as the major challenges bedevilling the company.
“In the last financial year, the company recorded 222 incidents of transformer vandalism countrywide, incurring losses valued at Sh. 89 million. Our North Rift region was among the most affected, bearing the burden of 11.26 per cent of the reported incidents,” he said.
Yagan, however, told the officers, who included chiefs, their assistants, and National Police Service officers, that the cases are dropping due to the company’s rigorous anti-vandalism operations in collaboration with security and other state agencies.
He reminded the officers of their critical role in guarding government infrastructure and other installations, urging them to cascade the anti-vandalism calls down to the community.
He said, “Let us spread the anti-vandalism messages down to the villages. Let us educate the community on the dangers involved.
“Vandalism affects not only the government but all of us, directly or indirectly. The frequent blackouts affect business activities, hence slowing down our country’s economy.”
He appealed to members of the public to follow the right procedure and access quality power connections through Kenya Power, reminding them that the company does not contract any individuals to supply power.
Kiogora urged the administrators to be vigilant and be ambassadors of the government in guarding the railway installations, noting that the moment the railway line is vandalised, the country incurs losses, which in turn impact negatively on the economy.
He cautioned residents with pieces of land bordering the railway line against illegally cultivating in the railway corridor, saying they must
seek approval from Kenya Railways for the sake of their own safety and infrastructural protection.
Lumakanda Assistant County Commissioner Christine Cheboi reassured the two institutions of maximum support, saying the officers will
ensure all the government installations within Lugari Sub County are secure.
She urged the chiefs and their assistants to propagate the anti-vandalism messages down to the villages in their respective administrative units through their public barazas.
North Rift Kenya Power Customer Experience Officer Abigael Ngetich appealed to members of the public to be patient whenever they apply for electricity metres rather than acquire illegal metres from fraudsters and risk no compensation in case of an accident.
Kenya Power Lumakanda Deport In-Charge Sammy Leting’ cautioned youths against being used to harass the power company staff whenever they are in the field, attending to emergencies.
By Melechezedeck Ejakait