Nairobi — In a bid to curb the escalating cases of vandalism and safeguard electricity infrastructure, Kenya Power has joined forces with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
According to the company's Managing Director Joseph Siror during the last financial year, the Company recorded a 46 percent increase in transformer vandalism, affecting 242 transformers in comparison to 165 units vandalized the previous year.
"We have witnessed a recent surge in cases of vandalism and illegal connections across the country leading to unplanned power outages that inconvenience our customers. The Company is working with various security agencies, including collaboration with the DCI, to tackle these illegal activities. We are confident that the partnership with the DCI will boost our capacity to proactively fight vandalism and other crimes through an intelligence-led approach," Siror said
He stated that aside from the revenue loss for the Company, vandalism and unauthorized power connections puts the public at risk of electrocution.
Furthermore, vandalism jeopardizes the quality of power supply and has a direct impact on the economy, as stable electricity supply is critical for economic growth.
He added that inorder to address these challenges, the Company is launching a public awareness campaign.
Deputy Director for Investigations Paul Wachira also stated that inorder to combat the surge in vandalism, theft of electricity, fiber, and encroachment of wayleaves, they have assigned 42 officers to collaborate with Kenya Power's security team.
"The DCI will continue supporting investigations and protecting the energy sector against criminal activities whenever we are called upon. Through partnerships such as the one we now have with Kenya Power, we will work collaboratively for purposes of following the money trail, especially among those handling stolen copper and oil from vandalized transformers, so that the masterminds of these activities are arrested and prosecuted," Wachira said
He added that since July of last year, a total of 1,026 persons have been detained around the country for different criminal acts involving the power network and 472 of these involve vandalism, theft of energy equipment, and damage to energy infrastructure.
Furthermore Illegal connections and fraudulent electricity use account for 320 arrests, while 33 people were arrested for wayleave encroachment.