NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 18 – Kenya Power has excavated 18 transformers in a farm in Redhill, Kiambu.
A team led by Kenya Power’s Head of security Major Kigen also recovered a huge cache of vandalized conductors buried at the 25 acre piece of land.
Speaking to Capital Business, Kigen confirmed one suspect has been arrested in connection to the theft.
The piece of land, which is off the Wangige-Ndenderu road, had been abandoned for long until recently when it exchanged hands.
“The new owners noticed wires protruding from the ground in the process of clearing the ground for development, that’s when they called the police,” said Kigen.
The 18 transformer shells and conductors, which are valued at Sh12 million, is the biggest cache Kenya Power has recovered in the recent past.
The head of Security says 60 transformers have been stolen in the last six months, “but this a significant drop compared to an average of 400 transformers vandalized in previous years, over the same period.”
According to the utility company, international demand for copper is fueling the vandalism, with transformer oil – which is used in restaurants and engine oil – driving local demand.
Actively engaging the community, who have significantly upped reporting, and several arrests on both the supply and demand side has brought down the thefts.
— Kenya Power Limited (@KenyaPower) January 18, 2017