Monday, July 26, 2010

The 26th, 27th, 28th & 29th outage.....

We had an outage late afternoon on Friday last week at around 5.15 pm.

This time I called the new Customer Relations Manager, Ms. Faith who has
taken over from Mr. Vidzo. She is very polite and helpful and promised
me that she would call the emergency and find out and then get back to
me as soon as she had. This she did promptly and I hope and pray that
the practice will continue considering the number of outages this area
has in a day, even.

I had mentioned to her on that day that we hoped that we would not have
outages messing up our weekend and sure enough, they did not. It was
such a relief!

But, this largesse was short lived for as soon as early morning dawned
today on the stroke of 5.00 am the power went off. I rang up Mr. Mbaluka
who promptly switched off his phone so, I rang up the helpful Mr. Musau
who equally promptly answered unlike his colleague. He told me that they
would send a team to investigate.

Now, this bothers me and I have mentioned this many times in my missives
in the past. Since the North Coast of Mombasa has more outages than it's
believed possible, why doesn't KPLC get themselves established in a
branch emergency office, here? It would be so much faster to deal with
our consistent outages as well as prove to be much cheaper transport
wise than the present arrangement of coming all the way from right
across town, across our one and only access road the Nyali Bridge and to
wherever the problem is in the North Coast.

Consider the fact, that this one and only access to the North Coast -
the 'bridge', is usually choke a block with bumper to bumper traffic and
other insane road users plus the added disadvantage of it not being wide
enough for the growing traffic.

Imagine the time and money wasted by KPLC if their 'teams' are stuck in
this traffic. Officialdom has not seen it fit to have alternative roads
and bridges built with their usual myopic vision, over the years. In
fact, myopically they removed a landmark floating bridge which would
have really come in handy in more ways than one, had it been still
there. But, that is a topic for another email....

Now, to get back to the latest 2 outages of this morning. When the power
had still not returned after nearly 45 minutes, I called Mr. Musau,
again to find out what the problem was and when it would return. His
answer really fascinates me. He told me that they were still checking
out the problem and had no idea when it would return, but, it would be
soon.... Whatever that meant!

After about 5 minutes of this call, the power came back to my relief.
But it went off again after a few minutes. So, I called Mr. Musau, yet
again. This time he told me that this 'on/off' was due to them checking
the line. Again, I asked him how long this was going to happen for and
his answer caused my above mentioned fascination. He said that he did
not know as this line was very long and they were checking it and it
depended on where and how many problems they encountered along the way.

I tried asking him why in the nearly 50 years of our so-called
Independence, they and their higher ups had not simplified this work,
but, he claimed that he could not hear me. How convenient and so much
for our mobile telephony!

Oh, as I am writing this, the power went off again, and then I called
Mr. Musau he told me that they are still checking this long line and
could I please call his colleague Mr. Chama (whose number I fortunately
have), who is at the place doing this and would be able to give me
better information. Well, I just did and he told me it would be back in
two minutes and sure enough it did, thank God.

But, one wonders for how long.....? And who will pay for the damages to
our equipment with this constant on/off situation. Even our Sollatek
devises pack up. Maybe, some of the lawyers who reside here and are
members of the NCRRA and are recipients of this email would be
interested in carrying this issue further.....?

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