Good News:Underground Cables To End Blackouts, Says Kenya Power
Kenya Power will install underground cables in major towns to minimise power outages. Managing director Joseph Njoroge said yesterday this is part of both short and long term measures against constant power outages due to adverse weather conditions. Njoroge also said the power distributor does not plan to increase tariffs, adding any new levy adjustments would only be related to external loan repayments by the firm, which fluctuate on a monthly basis. “The monthly variations of fuel cost and forex charges are a function of quantity and cost of fuel used by thermal power generators and exchange rate.
These do not constitute a review of electricity tariffs,” said Njoroge. Heavy rains have been causing major power outages as falling trees, lightning, strong winds and flash floods damage power lines. “Since the onset of the long rains, we have witnessed an increase in the number of power outages across the country mainly due to such challenges,” said Njoroge. “We have designed a plan for underground cables in central business districts of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Nyeri to minimise system disturbances caused by environmental effects,” he added.
Areas worst hit by the power interruptions include Nairobi, Ongata Rongai, Langata, Karen, Ridgeways, Kajiado, Ngong. Others areas are Kisii, Nyali at the coast, Kiambu, Buru Buru among others. Business leaders welcomed the announcement with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance chairperson Patrick Obath saying it is a step in the right direction. “We appreciate the move to underground the power lines in key areas but Kenya Power should also move to secure the supply lines to these crucial areas,” said Obath.
Obath told The People businesses have incurred huge losses due to acute power outages in the affected towns. “A hailstone storm in Nairobi on April 5 uprooted trees, twisted power lines and flooded substations blowing equipment at Juja substations causing massive power interruption across Nairobi,” Njoroge said. He said the firm plans to improve infrastructure over the next five years to create a “more robust” infrastructure with alternate line sources. “This includes increasing number of primary substations in order to shorten feeder lines which are ongoing under the Energy Sector Recovery Project,” he said.