Monday, August 30, 2010

59th outage

While we had a fluctuation late in the morning yesterday, it did not last too long. But, at night at about 8.20 pm the lights suddenly went off!

Of course, none of the engineers were answering their phones as usual, but, when I called emergency, for once the phone was immediately answered and informed them about the outage. I was told that somebody would be sent to investigate. I asked this person's name, but, couldn't make out what it was, though, he told me.

Anyway, the power came back after about 15-20 minutes, but, we still don't know the reason it went off. And why, this happens more often out at the North Coast than anywhere else. KPLC seems to act in a highly secretive manner regarding this whenever asked. Why? Makes one highly suspicious about what they are hiding....

Saturday, August 28, 2010

58th outage

Yesterday, when I got back home at just after 3.00 pm, I found there was

an outage. Making enquiries, I found that it had gone at 3.00 pm, a few
minutes before I got back.

I tried Mr. Mbaluka and then Ms. Faith Njuguna but, neither of them were
answering their respective phones. I tried emergency, too, but at first
the number was perpetually engaged and when I finally got through, I
talked to somebody called Hamisi who told me that they were connecting
us (whatever that meant, for are we not connected anyway, though, it's a
very questionable one, at that!). He also reassured me that the power
would be back in less than an hour.

Well, the 4.00 pm came and went but there was no sign of any light and
so I called Hamisi, again. Fortunately, he was still around and answered
and told me that it would be back any minute from then. It did come
back, eventually, but, I'm still in a fog regarding this particular outage.

And while I am talking of outages, I've been told by various friends who
live in different areas of Mombasa Island and one on Links Rd, near
Mamba village, that they had/have been without power since last Tuesday
night! How come? KPLC is getting completely unreliable and is on it's
way to becoming a pest! I pity those people and all the repercussions
that an outage of this long period would do to their various appliances
and the food, etc., in fridges, running out of battery power on mobile
phones and other nasty things. It is unacceptable!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

55th, 56th & 57th outages

Yesterday, though I was not home, I have my informers whom I've told to

keep track of the outages when I am not there, the power went off around
12.30 pm and came back after about half an hour. Since I was not there,
we have no idea why it had gone.

But, later in the evening within a space of less than 15 minutes, the
power went off twice. The outages were of a very short duration. It
seemed to me that as soon as i called either Mr. Musau's or Mr.
Mbaluka's phone, the power would come back. And they did not answer
their phones as is their wont of late. Maybe, when they found me calling
them, they switched the power back on, again!!! It seemed as though they
were waiting for me to call them.

In fact, I was talking with Ms. Faith Njuguna both times when I would
call her as I could not get through to the above mentioned two gentlemen.

I hope and pray that we are going to be able to spend an outage free
long weekend, Insha'Allah....

Monday, August 23, 2010

52nd, 53rd & 54th outages

While we've been having outages every single day since the last time I wrote which last from a few seconds to a few minutes, the last 3 days starting Saturday, things have been far worse......, if that is at all possible in the current trend that KPLC has started on.

To say that we are really and truly FED UP of this so-called power company is an understatement! And when we ring their emergency their overused mantra of telling us to have patience is adding insult to a very festering wound. They are pushing us against a wall and whatever that will lead to is not going to be at all nice for KPLC. They are taking their consumers on the North Coast for granted and since nobody has yet taken them to task legally for all the damage they continue doing to us does not mean that the thought has not occurred to us. They just might be pushing us in that direction.....

The following are the latest breakdown of the outages since Saturday night -

At about 8.15 pm on Saturday night the lights suddenly went off and I could get NOBODY on the phone, including emergency, to explain what was going on and when we would get our power back. I managed to finally get somebody and was told that there was a problem at Kipevu and it was affecting everybody in the Nyali area. So, they were now switching us to another source...?! Whatever that meant. Eventually, it did come back at around 10.00 pm, I think.

But, again on Sunday afternoon it went off at 12.30 pm not to come back for quite a few hours. This time while I tried calling all the engineers starting with Mr. Mbaluka, etc., and ending with Ms. Faith Njuguna, she was the only one who answered despite not feeling well. She too, it seems could not get hold of Mr. Mbaluka and therefore we couldn't know what was going on, why and when the power would be back.

Then, this morning on the dot of 8.00 am it went off yet again. Again, I could not get hold of Mr. Mbaluka and so reverted to Ms. Faith Njuguna who answered. She promised that she would call me back and I'm still waiting for her feedback. Maybe, she still has not been given an answer, either. But, I continued calling emergency and somebody answered who had the temerity to tell me in Kiswahili that I should have patience, yet again! No explanation was forthcoming and he told me that I should call Mr. Mbaluka if I wanted to know more.

This was a highly frustrating answer since Mr. Mbaluka is highly illusive and seems not to be able to answer difficult questions hence him not answering my calls. What exactly is going on? Doesn't it arouse suspicions? It also, probably does not augur well for us, the long suffering residents of the North Coast.

The NCRRA has also requested a meeting with KPLC officials to discuss these issues, but, we have been put off by being told that on the day and time we wanted to meet with them, they are having a lunch time function. But, they still haven't got back to us with an alternative day and time. We're all waiting for this. Are they trying to avoid us and our 'uncomfortable' questions? While they insolently continue with their power outages to us.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

ASK showground racket - possible solutions...

After having suffered sleepless nights for nearly a whole week thanks to

the ASK Showground maddening racket, I have several suggestions from the
various residents (victims), and myself to this annual problem in the
middle of a mainly residential area.

There are also some observations included.

1. Since this is an agricultural show (basically), why include
deafening and 24 hours of music into it? In other words exclude the music.

2. If, it is not possible to do this, then, enforce a decibel level
which is acceptable to the mainly residential neighbourhood. Or, have
these offenders build themselves a soundproofed enclosed space.

3. And if even this is not enforceable and possible, then, move the
whole outfit out of this neighbourhood and take it to a less populated
place which is not within hearing distance of any populated place. For
now, this racket can be heard for miles/kilometers away from the source
e.g. the Island of Mombasa proper which is right across from English
point and can even be heard in Tudor, etc. At the North Mainland, it can
be heard very far, too.

Now, for the observations....

Is our Town Planning Dept. in working order? If so, are they not aware
that for people to live peaceful and productive lives, they should not
be mixing various things together. Like heavy commercial businesses,
night-clubs/bars, etc., within a residential area?

This Show ground is a very offending case in point as well as a shipping
office that has been allowed to set up shop round the corner from where
I live called Sea Bulk and which attracts huge articulated traffic which
is not meant for this side lane and are highly noisy and an obstruction
to traffic, too. Reporting this to the Traffic Police has not resulted
in any action. Maybe, the owners have 'connections'...?

RE the Showground noisy madness which NEMA was aware of from day one,
but, were completely helpless in dealing with. This, I was briefly told
was because the Showground management was not at all cooperative. In the
process we had to put up with their racket way into the very early hours
of Monday morning despite the Show itself having ended on Sunday. Why?
Is NEMA without sharp enough teeth? Or were they trying not to tread on
some 'interesting' toes by being 'diplomatic'?

So, can the Town Planners start putting their collective heads together
and come up with a viable solution, please?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

49th, 50th & 51st outage

Yesterday afternoon when I got home around 4.00 pm the power had gone

off since about at least an hour before which would be around 3.00 pm.

Ringing the various engineers like Mr. Mbaluka and Mr. Musau got no
answer so I tried Ms. Faith Njuguna's number. While she responded
immediately, at first, she had no idea that our power was gone and why.
She promised to revert back to me after finding out.

She did and this time they blamed the wind! I wonder how often the power
goes off in places which experiences stronger winds than Mombasa?
Anyway, as usual no time frame was given as to when normalcy would resume.

This being Ramadhan when like me many other residents of Nyali are
fasting, our time for cooking our evening meal is usually around this
time - mid-afternoon. And those of us who make use of electricity to
cook get totally messed up with such an outage.

I told Faith this and while she understood this, she was completely
helpless. I told her that I have, like many other consumers, noticed
that every year during the month of Ramadhan, both of our two service
providers, the water guys and KPLC are especially awful despite requests
every year being made by various Muslim bodies to these two, to please,
keep outages to a minimum and to the water company that it should give a
reliable supply. And like always, she denied this, like her colleagues.

But, like other requests, all of them fall on deaf and uncaring ears and
forget about being fewer - they mysteriously increase to an offensive
number, like yesterday and this morning.

Back to yesterday - the power came back about 20 minutes to 6.00 pm and
went off yet again, about half an hour later not to return till after
nearly an hour. All these timings coincided with our preparing our meal,
opening our fasts, praying and having our meal.

And all the time, the showground racket which is dependent on a reliable
power supply was going on in full swing! How come they never have an
interruption like us? At least, then we would get some much needed
relief from an irritating and disturbing non-stop noise about which NEMA
seems to be helpless in taking action despite their noise pollution law.

But, the 51st outage happened this morning. Again calling any of the
KPLC numbers proved futile, but, fortunately it came back within a few
minutes. Why it had gone is anybody's guess, of course.

Re: ASK Showground racket

After having spent a very disturbed night, I get the following email from our redoubtable Town Clerk, Mr. Otieno, this morning. Considering he has been getting my written complaints from Wednesday, the 2nd day of the Show, it's highly telling that it has taken him all this time to respond and this too does not mean that we will have a peaceful night, tonight, either.

This reply of his is as cosmetic as NEMA's noise pollution law - it is applied when convenient, if at all.

Yesterday afternoon at about 4.00 pm, the noise started and continued without let till after 5.00 am this morning despite Mr. Wemali from NEMA giving me a Mr. Godfrey's cell phone number who was supposed to be policing the Show ground area. When I called his number, the computer prompt kept telling me that it had been switched off and when I eventually got through to him hours later, he accused me of not reporting to him earlier. He at least, had the decency of apologizing when I told him that I had been doing exactly that since hours ago, but his phone had been switched off!

Anyway, another couple of hours later, the noise had not abetted even a bit, and so I called him again as I could not sleep. At that time he told me that he was still on his way to the show ground!!!! I wonder where the guy was to take him HOURS to get here? But, despite that the noise continued till into the early hours of this morning.

Therefore, I have reached the conclusion that with the inclusion of our Town Clerk and NEMA as a whole, there is a suspicious attitude of delaying tactics and their favourite statement when you push them into doing something about the racket is that we should have patience. I personally think that Kenyans are very FED UP with this passing the buck statement for it makes us feel guilty about a very legitimate grievance when we are told to have patience. Why should we be told this? We are definitely not being impatient for we have put up with this infringement on our rights for many years and now that there is a law regarding it, we are demanding that it be applied in every instance and promptly. The matter about patience does not even arise.

So, with one and a half days for this horrific show and it's noise to be over, Insha'Allah, I wonder what these various so-called 'officials' will do about this remaining time...?


On 8/14/2010 9:03 AM, Tubmun Otieno wrote:

Dear Raziya,

Thanx for ua sentiments on noise making at the Show groung,I will certainly raise it wi authorities concerned .

Tubmun Otieno

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, August 13, 2010

ASK showground racket carries on.....

It is with great regret that I am writing this. Despite having been

assured by Mr. Wemali day before yesterday and even yesterday evening
when I rang him as the noise started at 6.00 pm. He told me that he had
alerted the showground police to deal with it.

Unfortunately, it did not make an iota of difference in the noise level
or the timing. In fact, it carried on longer than the day before, for
our misery ended at 5.00 am this morning.

This insolent behaviour and ineffectiveness of the law bring many
questions to mind.

Why do we have so many laws when the people or organizations who are
supposed to apply them are totally helpless or are averse to doing
anything proactive about them when the need arises?

In this case, Mr. Wemali who represents NEMA seemed to be, and as far as
I and all the residents in the area who are affected by this racket, at
a complete loss as effective action is not being taken. Why? Then, why
make the noise pollution law? Because, we are no better off now after
it's inception than before? It seems to have made no difference.

Was this law passes for cosmetic reasons to placate somebody?

It seems that we are destined to get perpetual headaches, etc., while
this awful 'show' is on, i.e. till Sunday. So, all those who are being
affected by it - short of us all getting together and going to the
ground enmasse to demand quiet (which will probably and ironically,
instantly attract the riot squad), we, in this country live helpless
lives at the hands of lawlessness.

While we have umpteen laws the law upholders are never there for us!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Update on the ASK Showground racket

Yesterday evening Mr. Ben Wemali ,from the local NEMA branch contacted

me and came to see me in person, too, regarding my previous issue about
garbage burning in the neighbourhood. But, fortunately, he also heard
first hand the racket that had already started at the Show Ground on the
stroke of 6.00 pm. When he came it had already been going on for an
hour, at least, and getting louder by the minute, too!

Ironically, people were headed to the mosque for prayers and it is an
insult that this useless racket went on insolently without a thought to
the surrounding neighbourhood as well as the Muslims among them who are
fasting. We also pray more during this holy month and do not appreciate
listening to garbage being spewed out in the name of music.

When I woke up at 3.00 am to pray and start my fast this morning, the
racket had been going on and on throughout the night spreading untold
misery instead of entertainment. And it carried on till 4.30 am! Is this
what we will have to put up with till this horrible show ends?

Mr. Wemali promised me that he was going to visit the showground last
night and do a survey of how many noise makers are actually there and
warn them of dire consequences if they don't lower their volume and take
the neighbourhood into consideration. He also promised me that from
tonight till the end of the Show, we would have peaceful nights...

I am waiting......

Btw, Mr. Wemali's number is 0721-287154 in case somebody wants to ring
him for any environmental issues. I just hope that he will answer your
calls......, and mine too, should the noise continue.

46th, 47th & 48th outage

After I wrote the email counting the outages to 45 and immediately that

I put it in my outbox to send it when the power was back, we had 2 more
outages one after another in a matter of seconds! Hence, the count has
not increased in leaps and bounds by 3 by this morning.

Early this morning, we had another outage at about 7.15 am and it lasted
about half an hour. Trying to find out what cause all these frequent and
very expensive outages, we do not get a satisfactory answer at all.

For example, Mr. Mbaluka yesterday called it a problem! Of course, it is
a problem and a very big one at that. But, this being a blanket word to
describe a multitude of reasons, does not help us to understand what
exactly is going on.

And why is it that when the ASK Showground is playing ear-splitting
'music' all through the night till the early hours of the morning, i.e.
4.30 am, we don't get an outage to give us some much needed rest from
that racket?

We require and demand some intelligent answers, please.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

40th, 41st, 42nd, 43rd, 44th & 45th outage

I'm writing this on my battery power and so will not be able to send it

on till we get our power is back since my ISP connection is dependent on
our unpredictable power supply.

Since Monday early morning we've had power outages every day and this
afternoon it has come on and off at least 4 times! Ringing up the
various 'officials' including engineers at KPLC has not been at all
encouraging as I was told that it will become 'normal' after they have
solved their 'problem' - whatever that means....

They seem to have become overwhelmed with their unexplained problems
since quite a long time, now. Even after nearly 50 years of Independence
we have an unaccountable power supply, like, as mentioned many times
before, a typical banana republic.

As the spokes person for the NCRRA, we would all like to know if KPLC is
going to reimburse us for all the damage to our various businesses and
equipment that their so-called services do? It doesn't just go into
thousands of shillings but millions!!!

For now, they will typically have, the horrible ASK Show to 'blame' for
our many outages, I suppose. It is their favourite scape-goat. Also,
referring to my earlier email about the all night racket at the Show
Ground, why is it that the power is so reliable to these pests? They
never seem to suffer at the hands of our Kenya Weakness & Darkness.

They manage to disturb us without let all night without a single

Now, that Ramadhan has started, is this what is going to be happening
everyday, umpteen times a day? Do these people believe in a Higher
Authority (not a thick-headed politician, of course) - God? They are
inviting innumerable curses from the many fasting Muslims and all the
others, too.

Be very afraid of what you are sowing,

ASK Showground racket

Since the 'show' started yesterday, we, who live in Nyali and especially those who are near the show ground, have not slept peacefully. It has been like living next door to a bar and/or nightclub!

Where is NEMA with it's noise pollution law? I rang up various numbers, last night, in the hope that something would be done about it pronto, to no avail! One gets the impression that this law is very selective and while the PDEO (Deputy Provincial Environment Officer), Mr. Kyengo - 0721-302101, told me that he was going to do something about it, he never did. And in the event that he did, we are saturated with insolence in every direction for the volume did not go down even a fraction.

We were treated to non-stop loud 'music' from the showground till the early hours of this morning! I was told by another officer from our Environment office that they had a gadget which measured this and is (the noise), supposed to be only 30 meters from it's origin, but, it was way beyond this area. In fact, this racket can be heard right across to the Island, too, and so for the residents who live even within a few kilometers of this place, are treated to this noise on the North mainland.

Since Ramadhan has also just started, are we going to have sleepless nights till this horrible and offensive show is over? And who was the 'genius' who thought up this period to have the 'show', anyway? There are Muslims living all over who are going to be thoroughly disturbed by this not to mention all the normal people who cannot afford to have sleepless nights in the name of an agricultural show.

I could even feel the vibrations of the racket despite being nearly a kilometer from the ground! What is this nonsense? Can Kenyans never do anything without making a racket? Do they have any sense about disturbing others and/or their taste for 'music' and the volume it is being played at, might not be the same?

Please, spare a thought for the elderly, sick and the children before playing anything at ear-splitting levels.

I hope and pray that tonight and subsequent nights will be passed by all in peace, Insha'Allah.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

37th, 38th & 39th outages

It had been such a relief from outages for about a week!

But, of course, this being Kenya, it wasn't to last, for yesterday at
about 10.30 am some ignorant person tried putting up a bill board
somewhere along our line and electrocuted himself as well as shut off
our supply for nearly 2 hours before normalcy resumed. The only good
news is that this ignoramus didn't kill himself and one hopes that he
will have learned a lesson not to mess around power lines.

Then, this afternoon the supply again went off around lunch time for
about 15 to 20 minutes and it disappeared again for over an hour later
in the afternoon.

Calling KPLC and asking for an explanation, I was told that this time it
was a wire that 'broke'! I don't know why, though. Unless our power
company is using questionable materials.

What a way to spend our last weekend before Ramadhan starts and one
hopes and prays that they will give us a reliable service during this
holy month. When one scrutinizes their performance in the past during
this time, they become especially unreliable for some inexplicable
reason! Just like our water providers.

I personally think they start competing as to which one can be the most
incompetent and unreliable.