The Star (Nairobi)

19 April 2012

Kenya: Vandals and Heavy Rain Blamed for EPZ Electricity Outage

Kenya Power yesterday attributed electricity outages in Athi River and Kitengela towns to the collapse of a high voltage power line after vandals cut wires that support it.

More than 20 garment exporting companies based at the Athi River Export Processing Zone were still counting loses at 11am after most of them closed down business owing to power failure as their top managers sought an explanation from Kenya Power. They took issue with the company "keeping them in the dark" about the cause of the outages, which they claim have been frequent since the rains started.

Kenya Power spokesman Migwi Theuri, in a statement, said other than the vandals' interference with the power line supply, floods have also uprooted some power poles in the Katani area.

Theuri said the vandals cut the stay wires at a secluded place next to the Nairobi National Park fence and that Kenya Power engineers could only access the area yesterday morning due to impassable roads. Residents of Syokimau were also without electricity after a violent rainstorm uprooted poles on a power line serving them on Tuesday night at Katani.

Following the rains, whose floodwaters swept away the road and a flower farm bus killing three workers and injuring more than 55 others, residents of Syokimau and Mlolongo areas in Machakos county are still counting losses after their houses were destroyed.

Area MP Wavinya Ndeti yesterday said more accident victims of the Tuesday night tragedy were still in Shalom and Pona hospitals in Athi River and Kitengela respectively.

Ndeti said more than 1,000 residents of Mlolongo spent two nights in the cold after their makeshift houses were swept down River Athi. They are now camping at Mlolongo Primary School awaiting assistance from wellwishers.

The affected areas included Syokimau, Ngwata, Beijing Road, and Phase 3 near Mlolongo Police Station. The Kenya Red Cross has provided the affected with non-food supplies.

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