Govt in new plan to end illegal electricity connections in Nairobi slums

Vandalized electricity metre boxes, put up through a World Bank-funded project, in Mukuru-Kaiyaba slum slum in South B, Nairobi County, in this picture taken on June 27, 2021. 

Photo credit: Sammy Kimatu | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • South B Assistant County Commissioner Michael Aswani Were said the aim is to end illegal power connections in the slums and avoid deaths.

The government has devised a strategy for providing clean and safe electricity to residents of Nairobi's slums.

South B Assistant County Commissioner Michael Aswani Were said the aim is to end illegal power connections in the slums and prevent death by electrocution.

Mr Aswani said the government also aims to to save millions of shillings lost in fraud perpetuated by cartels and brokers colluding with Kenya Power officials.

"The government aims to supply its citizens with clean and safe energy for use at home and in industries. It also intends to end the number of deaths caused by electrocution,” Mr Were said.

To make the plan a success, he said, Kenya Power officials will work with community-based groups and leaders from the slums.

Mukuru-Hazina slum in South B

A section of Mukuru-Hazina slum in South B, Starehe Sub-county, Nairobi, in this picture taken on June 27, 2021. Electricity metre boxes from a World Bank-funded project were vandalised in all Mukuru slums.

Photo credit: Sammy Kimatu | Nation Media Group

Huge losses

Following a rise in the number of faulty transformers, cases of explosions, vandalism and lack of payments for connections in slums, Kenya Power has suffered significant losses.

"Structure owners and tenants are the ones who suffer the most from being exploited by cartels and electricity brokers," Mr Were said.

Last week, Kenya Power officials unmounted and carted away a transformer along Aoko road near South B All Nations Pefa church.

Following the incident, Mukuru-Sokoni and Mukuru-Kisii slums in Nairobi South ward, Starehe Sub-county were plunged into total darkness and local businesses adversely affected.

Last year, the company unmounted transformers from Mukuru-Kwa Njenga, Lunga Lunga, Sinai, Paradise, Kwa Reuben, Kayaba and Mukuru-Hazina slums.

Transformers along Lunga Lunga and Enterprise roads in Nairobi’s Industrial Area were also carted away.

A source at Kenya Power told the Nation that cartels in slums had connected power from the transformers and distributed it to residents in the slums at a fee.

“It is good business since for a single shanty, one parts with between Sh300 and Sh500 for power connection per month. Those operating business like salons and shops using refrigerators pay between Sh800 and Sh1,000 depending on the ‘owner’ of the power,’’ the source said.

Mukuru-Kaiyaba slum in South B

A section of Mukuru-Kaiyaba slum in South B, Starehe Sub-county, Nairobi, in this picture taken on June 27, 2021. Electricity metre boxes from a World Bank-funded project were vandalised in all Mukuru slums.

Photo credit: Sammy Kimatu | Nation Media Group

Follow rules

Mr Were advised residents in slums to follow proper procedures when getting electricity supply to their homes.

"The rules must be followed for anyone who wants electricity in the slums. The government does not want people to lose lives due to deaths related to electric power,” the administrator said.

Mr Were added that there will be a series of meetings between residents and Kenya Power officials, and urged cooperation for the best outcomes.

The meetings will be launched this week at the county offices at the chief’s camp in Hazina slum.

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