To prevent future acts of vandalism like the one that caused a nationwide power outage in January, the government has stationed 350 police officers to patrol important electricity production and distribution facilities.
A statewide blackout resulted from the destruction of Kenya Power-owned distribution pylons in Embakasi, Nairobi, in January due to ongoing vandalism.
Energy infrastructure has been designated as security infrastructure, and the energy sector has been classified as a security area. The infrastructure is currently being looked after by an energy sector police team, according to Benson Mwakina, Director of Renewable Energy at the Energy Ministry, who was speaking to conference attendees on Thursday in Nairobi.
Since the establishment of the energy sector police unit, he claimed, patrols around energy facilities have been increased, vandalism attempts have been thwarted, and arrests have been made.
In Kenya, each county commissioner is currently a member of the energy team. They are in charge of maintaining our infrastructure up to the chief level. To make sure that our facilities are secure, we have a team at the Ministry of Energy’s Kawi House headquarters led by a police commissioner who coordinates roughly 350 officers across the nation, the official said.
The ministry claims that it is prioritizing the protection of its infrastructure and allocating resources to ensure ongoing patrols because vandalism is a threat that increases Kenya Power losses.
Most of the people who vandalise the electricity equipment sell the parts to spare part dealers at throw-away prices.
The majority of those who damage electrical equipment sell the damaged parts to spare part vendors for dirt cheap.
In an effort to curb the vice that costs the economy billions of dollars every year, the State plans to quadruple the fine for damaging electrical transmission lines, railroads, and roadside furniture to Sh20 million.