Fears of electricity rationing as Loiyangalani-Suswa power line clash

Parts of the country could be plunged into darkness over the festive season after a section of the 220kV Loiyangalani-Suswa electricity line collapsed.

Four transmission towers that evacuate power from the 300MW Lake Turkana Wind Power Plant to the national grid clashed in Longonot area of Naivasha leading to a shortfall in electricity generation.

This came as families living along the powerline raised their concern after a section of the high voltage cables that fell in their compounds in Longonot village.

Following the incident, Kenya Power company has issued a warning of a shortfall in the coming days due to the current crisis.

Already, engineers from the power company and the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO) have embarked on repairing the damaged sections.

According to John Njenga, the first tower clashed over the weekend before the other three followed suit, raising fear and anxiety in the area.

He noted that they had in the past requested KETRACO to relocate families near the power line but their pleas fell on deaf ears before the accident occurred.

“Its by God’s grace that the power line fell on the cowshed after one of the nearby tower lines clashed and we hope this will be fully resolved in the coming days,” he said.

Njenga said that there were fears that other towers along the line could collapse in the coming days due to the strong winds in the area.

Another resident David Waigi said that the blame lay with KETRACO which failed to give ample space along the power line during its construction two years ago.

He said that families living near the power line were ready to move out if the power transmission company compensated them.

“Already four electricity towers have collapsed and there are fears that more could clash leading to loss of life and property in this area,” he said.

Following the incident, Kenya Power issued a statement to assure electricity consumers that normalcy would be restored in the coming days.

The company noted that the incident had led to the switching off of the Turkana power plant that is connected to Suswa substation resulting in a generation shortfall.

“Kenya Power engineers are working closely with other agencies to reconstruct the affected section and restore power supply in the shortest time possible,” said the company.

The incident has raised concern over the quality of works on the powerline with fingers pointing at the contractor involved in the project for the collapse of the power towers.