NAIROBI, July 15 – Residents of Mt Kenya region will now enjoy much quicker power restoration in case of a blackout, following the commissioning of a Sh250 million digital radio systems in the area. The Mt Kenya radio system upgrade is one of the projects being undertaken under the ongoing Sh10.3 billion donor and KPLC funded Energy Sector Recovery Project (ESRP), financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The new system would make communication between KPLC’s engineers easier and quicker during power blackouts.
The project covers the whole of the Mt Kenya Region including Meru, Embu, Isiolo, Kitui, Mwingi, Maralal, Nyeri, Murang’a and Thika. Radio repeaters are strategically installed in high altitude areas to maximise coverage.
The sites are interconnected through UHF links, and a controller at the Kiganjo substation, near Nyeri, monitors the entire system and communicates directly with all the operators throughout the region.
This increases the accuracy and reliability of communication between controllers and operators, and at the same time enhances the security of KPLC field staff as well as the system.
During the commissioning ceremony, KPLC Managing Director, Engineer Joseph Njoroge, said that the company’s more than 148,200 customers in the region would henceforth experience reduced restoration time in case of any power interruptions.
He explained that this would in turn be reflected on improved revenue and reduced technical losses from the region.
Meanwhile, Njoroge is calling on members of the public to be vigilant against cable vandalism, which he said had cost the power distributor more than Sh1.2 million in the last four years, and the Kenyan economy much more in lost opportunity.
Njoroge said other additional features of the new system include enhanced voice clarity and telephone interconnection, which enables office staff to communicate directly from their office extension with those in the field.
Prior to the project\’s completion, operational staff used to communicate using mobile phones making it quite expensive for KPLC. But the improved radio system is expected to reduce communication costs.