, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 24- Kenya power has blamed Vandalism for a lot of power outages in rural areas.
Speaking during The Great Energy Debate Kenya Power Acting Managing Director Jared Otieno says Vandalism has become rampant especially in the rural areas.
Otieno however says the firm is committed to fighting the vice.
“Vandalism is real and the effects are disastrous. Through a host of wide ranging measures, we are committed to eliminate such cases and have the suspects aligned in court with stiff penalties preferred upon them,” he added.
The firm is currently conducting an operation on illegal connections in different parts of the country.
Power theft through illegal connections as well as Vandalism and meter tampering cost the company Sh500 million annually.
The firm has been seeking stiff penalties through parliament in a bid to deal with offenders.
On Wednesday, a Mombasa court sentenced two men for 10 years in prison or Kshs5,000,000 fine each for vandalizing Kenya Power electricity lines in the Shimanzi area of the coastal town.
The two, Joseph Omuse and Faiz Kazungu, pleaded guilty to charges of vandalism when they appeared in Mombasa’s Senior Principal Magistrate’s court yesterday.
“The convicts were caught with aluminum conductor smelters last Friday, August 17,” said Kenya Power Security Manager Major Geoffrey Kigen (Rtd).
Elsewhere the Kenya Power security team arrested 3 people – Moses Khaemba, Dennis Mimo, and Antony Juma – at Seya, Kwanza Sub Location, Trans Nzoia County for vandalizing poles on an electricity line. The team recovered a pair of climbing irons, one safety belt, a chain saw, and a wooden pole.
In Nairobi, the Kenya Power security team conducted a joint operation on illegal connections in Eastleigh. The team disconnected customers who had illegal connections.
On Monday, the security team carried out an operation in Maziwa in Kahawa West and in Thome Estate to uninstall illegal street lights in the area.
It recovered two 400w flood lights and 14 lamps.
According to the World Bank, blackouts cost Kenya 25 days a year.