Monday, October 29, 2007

Persistent power outages!

Since last week, on Thursday, 25th October 2007, our neighbourhood (Kizingo), seems to be suffering from continuous power failures, every day! Except for the weekend, the outages have re-started since this morning.

Now, to go back to Thursday, last week. The power went off from around mid-morning and while it came back sometime in the early afternoon, it went off again very soon, and didn't come back till after dark, i.e. at night. Then, on Friday, it went off, soon after 8.00 am and when I rang
Mr. Mbaluka, on his cell-phone, because nobody was answering the Controller's phone, he told me that it was a broken wire (!), and that it would take about 2 hours to rectify when asked when it would be restored.

Well, it wasn't! Because, when I got back in the late afternoon around 5.30 pm the power was still not back and everything was getting defrosted in the fridge in this boiling heat. Of course, this elicited some more calls to various people at KPLC most of whom were not answering their cell phones as well as being low on credit, I was getting frantic and was not at all looking fwd to spending the night without any power in this awful heat. Also, the neighbourhood mosque's generator started off which sounds like a factory at work and disturbs the whole estate.

Eventually, I managed to get hold of the Customer Service Manager, Mr. Vidzo, who is the right guy for the right job. Especially, in an organization as inefficient as KPLC. He did some calling around and eventually got back to me saying that they were still on the job and that I shouldn't fret and they were working to restore power to us asap. Now, this answer was not an explanation as to WHY from earlier in the morning, mentioned 2 hours, it had now become an outage of over 13 HOURS!!! And WHAT and WHY fixing a broken wire was taking so very long? It seems to have come back at some point after 9.30 pm.

Mercifully, the weekend everything went well - without an outage or fluctuation. But, comes today, Monday morning, and things have returned to the same inefficiency of last week and all the previous days, months, years, etc., ad infinitum! When I tried to ring Mr. Mbaluka on his cell phone, he answered (I've quit trying to call the KPLC numbers as is an exercise in futility), but, he said he was very far away in Nairobi and wouldn't be able to rectify things. I tried the Chief engineer's (Mr. Haid), cell phone, too, but, it got disconnected and in the end, it was back to calling Mr. Vidzo who answered and promised to investigate.

His explanation a couple of hours later (when we'd already got the power back but it's anybody's guess as to how long, for), was that they are doing some work which will eventually translate to this outages as being things of the past......, Insha'Allah. This is the second time, he has given me this reason for KPLC's inefficiencies and I'm wondering if this is now the standard reply we're going to get from them for these outages?

As a friend in Canada, wrote to me this morning about them, that it's fortunate that we live where we do, otherwise, we'd be suffering from collective hypothermia if we didn't first die of freezing weather if such things were to happen then. Is that why these people are so lax?


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