Kenya’s power utility, Kenya Power, has been focusing its efforts in tackling the spiraling acts of vandalism and illegal connections to its existing power infrastructure.
Kenya Power said in a company statement that the number of arrests made by the utility rose by 77% to 257 in the first half of this year, compared to the same period last year.
Kenya Power drives initiative
Kenya Power was recently co-joined in ‘Operation Usalama’, a joint operation by security agencies within the Eastern Africa region that aims to track down international crimes such as theft of copper cables, terrorism, mineral smuggling and human trafficking, among others.
The utility said that cases of vandalism reduced by 17.1% during the first quarter of this year, improving the quality of power supply by minimising interruptions originating from tampering with transformers and conductors.
Major Geoffrey Kigen (Rtd), Kenya Power’s Acting Manager for Security Services, said: “There have been significant gains in the fight against power theft and vandalism.
“This is attributed to enhanced surveillance across our network. We will endeavor to maintain the cordial relationship with the members of the public and the security agencies to help maintain a downward trend in this aspect.”
Exploring all possible solutions
In addition to partnering with members of the public to report occurrences on the network, the utility explained that they have adopted technical measures such as welding, relocation and hosting of transformers above high voltage lines, which has contributed to reducing cases of vandalism.
Tampering with electricity distribution equipment negatively affects the quality of power supply as it leads to unplanned interruptions, resulting in losses both in households and industries.