Friday, September 24, 2010

OLD Nyali bridge - Mombasa Kenya

If only this land-mark bridge had not been dismantled..... Considering the infamous traffic jams that North Coast residents suffer every single day while trying to go off and back to the mainland might not have been so terrible.

But, our myopic government which still suffers from the same myopia as the one then, since it is the same lot - only recycled, decided to dismantle it despite the then Nyali residents assuring it that they would be responsible for its maintenance and upkeep.

Now, everybody is suffering the consequences of this tunnel vision. And while, at long last, something is being done to deal with the awful traffic situation in Nairobi, nobody in officialdom is giving much thought to the same happening elsewhere, and specifically in Mombasa the second largest town (city?), in this country of ours.

For their (govt.'s), information, and we hope that they have noticed this when they zoom past in their convoys of 4WDs which the traffic cops have cleared them. That we have only one outlet each for getting off the Island of Mombasa in every direction. To the South we have the questionable ferries, to the North the traffic jammed Nyali Bridge and to the West the Makupa Causeway. All of them, get choke-a-block with traffic during peak hours.

Should anything happen to jam traffic at any of these points, there is no alternative way to get away from any disaster. And since our Council has allocated most of the road reserves and developed on them, too, there is little room for expansion, either.

A very good example of this is the island end of the old Nyali bridge. It has become quite unrecognizable. Palatial houses have been built all over and if one wanted to show our new generation the former land-mark floating bridge, there is no way that one could, unless we knocked on various private residences to let us through!

So, is our present government going to do something to alleviate this constant congestion all over Mombasa? And if so, when? In fact, to let our officialdom (politicians), experience what the ordinary mwananchi has to go through every day, they should not bother with the traffic police clearing the way for them, but, experience first hand the results of their short-sightedness. Maybe, then, something will be done about it, pronto!

One can hope, at least......

Subject: FW: OLD Nyali bridge - Mombasa Kenya


for those who can remember and for those who never saw - only heard


Thursday, September 23, 2010

A/C No. 2399078-02 and the outages every Sunday

Since, I'm visiting my cousin in Nairobi, I have been told that they have been having outages for so-called maintenance every Sunday for the past 4 to 5 weeks.

Why is it that KPLC everywhere seems to delight in doing their maintenance on Sundays? And what is the need to do this in the Parklands/Highridge area (ref. above account number), every weekend? Is their work so questionable that they have to do maintenance on a Sunday which messes up everybody's off day? Or is there another motive?

It seems that one cannot escape from outages ANYWHERE in the country! We truly are living in a 'banana republic' and I do not know when we will EVER get out of that rut and poverty, too, by extension since these outages cause a lot of damage to property and people cannot do a decent day of work, either. Since we are living in the 21st century, nearly everything we work with has some connection to power, we need a predictable supply of the same.

So, could KPLC, please quit these persistent outages?

Hope we will have a 'powerful' weekend ......,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

63rd, 64th, 65th, 66th & 67th outage....

One of the reasons that Muslims in this town believe that they are deliberately being targeted by KPLC and our Water Company, is because they always claim to have more problems than usual from these two service providing companies during the Holy month of Ramadhan. It makes one very suspicious that every year, doesn't matter what time of the year Ramadhan is, since it's follows a lunar calendar, these two service providers will go on the blink more often than otherwise. I wonder why?

The whole month we had problems with outages and most of them used to happen smack at a time when we were about to open our fasts or prepare (late afternoon), something for opening it. There was hardly an explanation forthcoming other than, when pressed, 'there's a problem at Kipevu'!

Then to make things more insulting, we had a power outage on Eid day, i.e. Friday morning at a time when we were preparing to go for Eid prayers. Even if the outage stayed only for a few minutes, when everything switches off, we have no idea how long it's gone for and even when and if it will come back, this is no guarantee that it will stay, either.

This is what has been happening without fail, except for Sunday, since Eid day, till yesterday. The power goes off and on, not once, but umpteen times in a day without any warning, of course. Trying to call emergency at first got a prompt response, but, at the last outage, last night, nobody was picking the phone at the emergency, either. Fortunately, power came back within a few minutes.

Today, till now, we haven't had an outage....., yet. But, one never knows and can't relax. I wonder when we'll ever have a time when we didn't get a strong feeling that we live in a banana republic....?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

61st, 62nd outages & fluctuations

Between 11.15 am and 11.30 am, yesterday, the power went off again. This time trying to get the emergency to answer was futile and I discovered the possible reason for this when I called Ms. Faith Njuguna in despair. From her I found out that the function that they had to cancel on the 25th of last month (August), was taking place then.

So, while they continued with their shoddy service to us, they were having a lavish luncheon function at their customers expense. Now, we know what they do with the hiked up rates they charge us every month regardless of the quality of service!

I found out that the power came back after about 20-30 minutes.

But, again, at around 4.30 pm it went off, not to return till around 7.30 pm! This brings another observation that I, like many others, who also suffer when the power goes off. The matter of mobile phones and their battery charge. Unlike land-lines, which don't die during a power outage, these phones have a limited battery charge and need to be charged when low.

This is the predicament I found myself in yesterday. All my phones were battery dead and thank God for land lines. As I have one, I had to use this to try and call the various emergency numbers and when I could not get through to any of these, I tried Ms. Faith Njuguna's, again.

It took her a while to answer but she was still at this function and after I informed her of this 3rd outage within a 24 hour period, she gave her phone to somebody called Tsuma who claimed that they were still fixing the same problem which had caused an outage at midnight and that the power would be back in another 30 minutes. This was at around 5.30 pm.

Unfortunately, the power never returned after the claimed interval and the Muslims among us had to pray and open their fasts in the dark using alternative light sources. Those of us who use electricity to heat and/or cook our food had to either eat cold stuff or open their fasts with an alternative.

When I called Ms. Faith, again, I was told that it would now take 45 minutes, more! As is their habit, KPLC hardly keeps their word these days. They have become totally unreliable and horribly insolent. The stated time came and went with no power. So, I called Ms. Faith, yet again, and she was surprised that we still did not have power. She told me that according to her information we should have got our power back some time ago.

I was told that she would look into it and just a few minutes after hanging up - illumination! Was it some switch they pulled for this? And one wonders about the way KPLC communicates within itself. I am sure that some parts of Nyali got their power back, but, others, like us were still in darkness till after 7.30 pm.

This was an outage of over 3 hours with no satisfactory explanation for it.

This morning, there were fluctuations. Why? And for how long are we going to endure this impunity from this so-called power company?

Friday, September 3, 2010

60th outage

What a morning this is proving to be, too!

At around 12.30 am (midnight), the power went off and for once I decided not to call emergency thinking that they (KPLC), would be aware of the outage and rectify it in due course. I deduced wrong! When my alarm went off at 3.00 am, which is when I wake up during Ramadhan to say extra prayers and start my fast, we were still in darkness which warranted a call to emergency. I was told that it would come back in a few minutes.

When it did not, I called emergency, again and asked the person answering how long it would take since his 'few minutes' had come and gone without any sign of illumination returning. So, he told me to hang on and called the guys at the sub-station here where the fault lay, and was told that it would take 45 minutes. The reason I was given for the current outage was again a much overused mantra of broken wires at the sub-station, of all places!

Since this sub-station is under lock and key, how did the wire break?! And there is a security guard too, on duty, 24 hours.

And why did it take over 4 hours to fix? And when exactly did the crew start fixing? Since 12.30 am or they did not know anything about it till my call at 3.00 am? Which is when they sent somebody out to have a look and hence the over an hour extra outage time?

This matter about outages does not just involve messing up our lives directly, but, it has an indirect effect, too. Since our water pumps all rely on power to operate, our water supply also gets affected when we have these nasty outages.

And since our water providers are also equally incompetent in supplying us with this precious commodity, we have to rely on water storage tanks and pumps which in turn rely on a steady and predictable supply of power, too. Therefore, both water and power go hand in hand and when we don't have power for any length of time, we don't have water, either.

This state of affairs gets highly infuriating and frustrating when either of these so-called 'service providers' go on the blink! Like this morning, we suddenly had no water in our taps because of this. As it's Ramadhan, it's doubly annoying.

For how much longer is KPLC going to carry on 'working' in this lackadaisical manner?