illegal electricity connections
In East Africa, Kenya’s national electric utility company, Kenya Power, reports progress on tackling electricity theft in the country.

The power company announced that through its intensified surveillance, six suspects were arrested last week for electricity theft, reports local media.

Kenya Power's acting security services manager, Geoffrey Kigen, said the investigations have helped them make good progress in dealing with the theft of power.

Kigen said: "We have teams on the ground carrying out verification of connections alongside new connections."

[quote]At present, the utility is carrying out the Last Mile Connectivity Project that is aimed at increasing the rate of access to electricity countrywide.

However, Kigen stated that criminals have taken advantage of these projects to entice unsuspecting citizens into fraudulent deals for power connection.

Electricity theft pose a threat on revenues

Two of the suspects who are part of a group that constructs illegal lines, are said to have been arrested at Keragia area in Kenyenye Sub County of Kisii County and booked at Ogembo Police Station.

"We have found out that criminals are promising to connect households for about Sh10,000 ($98.7) exclusive of the cost of poles and conductors, which the victim has to bear," Kigen said.

"We urge members of the public to be vigilant and report suspicious deals to Kenya Power, police or other authorities to facilitate quick action," he added.

Kigen noted that illegal power connections pose a threat on Kenya Power's revenue and the crimes also undermine the stability of the electricity distribution network as the theft triggers supply challenges in addition to posing health hazards such as electrocution.

The media also reported that in Webuye, Bungoma County, a woman was arrested after it was found that her residence was fraudulently connected to and consuming electrical energy. Three other people were arrested in Saika Estate, Nairobi County for self-reconnection after they were disconnected for not paying their bills.