Vandalism Plunges Kisii and Nyamira Counties Into Power Outage

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The County of Kisii and parts of Nyamira County find themselves engulfed in darkness following a brazen act of vandalism targeting a Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (KETRACO) substation on the morning of Tuesday, May 7.

Engineer Eliud Kimtai, the manager of the substation, confirmed that the vandalism occurred around 3 a.m., when a group of unidentified assailants, their motives still shrouded in mystery, wreaked havoc, causing damages estimated in the millions.

Eyewitnesses reported that six individuals armed with machetes forcibly entered the premises situated in Kegati, Nyaribari Chache sub-county, at approximately 12:30 a.m.

They subdued guards and a technician before embarking on their destructive spree, targeting control cables critical for power distribution.

James Ojijo, a technician with KETRACO who was on duty that ill-fated night, recounted his harrowing experience, revealing how the perpetrators coerced him into aiding their nefarious activities under threat of violence.

The thugs allegedly made their way to the control room where they first asked Ojijo to lie down on the floor and proceeded to tie him up.

Kenya Power engineers repair a collapsed pylon.

Photo

Kenya Power

“They told me to do as they wanted or they would kill me,” Ojijo recounted, his voice tinged with the trauma of the ordeal.

He further detailed the events, stating, “Whatever they wanted switched off, they asked me to switch off, and then they proceeded to cut the cables.”

Kimtai elucidated the extent of the damage caused, stating the critical nature of the cables severed by the thieves. “Thieves cut control cables that facilitate communications between power supply equipment inside and outside the power station,” he lamented.

The repercussions of the vandalism are not confined solely to the act itself. 

Kenya Power, the country’s power distribution company, has reported staggering losses since the onset of the outage, with an average of Ksh1.2 million per hour, totaling over Ksh7.2 million thus far.

Efforts are underway to rectify the situation, with both KETRACO and Kenya Power collaborating to restore power to the affected areas. However, progress is impeded by ongoing investigations into the incident.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has deployed personnel to the site to interview witnesses and gather evidence. 

However, the precise nature of the incident remains ambiguous, with authorities yet to ascertain whether it should be classified as robbery or economic sabotage.

Kenya Power staff attending to a transformer during a past maintenance exercise in Nairobi County.

Photo

Kenya Power



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