Kenya Power this week launched Operation Ondokea Laini, which will involve the demolition of illegal structures that have encroached on its wayleaves in Nairobi.
The utility explained in a statement that Operation Ondokea Laini is being carried out under the auspices of the Multi-Sectoral Consultative Committee on Unsafe Structures constituted by the government to minimise fatalities caused by collapsed buildings.
A statutory right
An electricity wayleave is a statutory right that gives the licence holder the power to install its electricity lines and associated equipment on, over or under private land, to keep the electricity line there and to have access to that land for the purposes of inspecting, maintaining, repairing or removing the electricity line or equipment.
Speaking during the operation, Kenya Power’s Security Services Manager, Maj. Geoffrey Kigen (Rtd), said that over time, Kenya Power’s wayleaves have been encroached by a high number of squatters who have constructed illegal structures under its power lines thus compromising its ability to effectively transmit, distribute, and retail quality and reliable electricity to its customers throughout the country.
“The illegal and unsafe structures not only pose a danger to the squatters in the event of an electrical accident, but also deny us the ability to maintain our power supply lines,” he said.
Operation Ondokea Laini
Through Operation Ondokea Laini Kenya Power is working with a number of government agencies to address its protracted wayleaves challenges. Read more: Kenya Power instructed to stop disconnecting consumers
The agencies include the Nairobi City County Government, the National Building Inspectorate, the National Construction Authority, the National Environment Management Authority, the National Disaster Management Unit, Kenya Pipeline Corporation, Kenya Railway Corporation, Water Resource Authority, and the National Police Service.
The first phase of the process was carried out in Embakasi through Mukuru slums to Enterprise Road over a stretch of approximately 8km. Operation Ondokea Laini is expected to cover another 37km by the end of March 2018.