Monday, April 18, 2016

Outages galore!

This might sound like a stuck record, but we in Nyali, have so many outages and fluctuations that it is strange.

There is something VERY WRONG with our power supply and the way it is managed by Kenya Power - totally ineffectual and full of incompetence. To us it looks like they fix one issue, but create another and it goes on and on and on..... ad infinitum!

From Sat/Sun night (midnight), we suddenly had an outage and our new chief engineer, Mr. Mohammed Amiyo, would not answer his phone, but mercifully Kennedy Owino, did, thank God. He told me that there was a problem at the substation and sure enough we got our power back within a few minutes.

But, this started a whole series of outages when morning came, yesterday. In total we had 4 to 5 outages throughout the day! Why is this? Is Kenya Power working with outdated equipment and if not, what really is this persistent problem of outages?

We get the impression that they are working with many shortcomings one of which is manpower. 

For example, there is the matter of trucks and the people sent around to fix things. A couple of days ago I reported fluctuations from 8.30 am but KPLC came after 8 hours. Their excuse - the truck was somewhere in Bamburi and could not come till they finished THAT work and THEN come our way. Why is there a shortage of these in a big town like Mombasa?

Whenever, we are doing any work (which is nearly everything), that involves power, we are always on tenterhooks that whatever we are currently doing will suddenly all go to waste due to a power outage or fluctuation even if it lasts for a few minutes or seconds. It is terrible living in this kind of set-up.

Then, there is the case of sudden outages in the night for people who are old, disabled, etc. I personally have multiple disabilities two of which are vision and balance. When the light goes, it spells disaster for  me. There are many out there who have similar and/or worse problems, but does our power company care even a bit? Of course not because they are not improving, but regressing their 'services'.

When will this power company ever become responsible and accountable to its consumers?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Pathetic 'services' by Kenya Power

The update from my last email re 'poor KPLC', their inefficiencies know no bounds.

That day, despite having informed them of the fluctuations since 8.30 am, their 'fundis' (I'll call them that since they were anything but professional), showed up at around 4.00 pm. They tinkered around with our meter box, could not find anything and then took a 'tour' of the estate to 'find' the fault and then left without telling us what if anything they found or did not.

As there was no change in the fluctuations (improvement), I started calling the many officials' phone numbers that I have. 

One of these when he finally answered had no answer to my various questions and instead started telling me off regarding my way of talking to them (harshly). What do they expect after spending HOURS without proper power, with things getting defrosted in the fridge, etc.,?!

He claimed that (including himself), they were all scared of me!!!! This is laughable. If they were, they would not be subjecting me to these long waits.

Anyway, I next called our Regional Manager, Mr. Mwalala who in turn told me that he would see what can be done and cut off...

Next, I tried the 'new', Mr. Mohammed Amiyo who has replaced Mr. Biwott. For once he answered and told me he was on his way to our estate and would be there in a few minutes.

True to his word, he was at my doorstep in about 15 minutes. He, too, had a look at our meter box and then went straight to the transformer that supplies us. There, he finally found what ailed it and decided that it needed replacing. This was just around sunset. 

He then ordered for another transformer from town and told me that the whole operation would take at least 2 hours.

It seems that KPLC loves working in the dark because this is the fourth transformer that is being replaced since I have come to stay in this estate nearly six years ago!

The thing finally arrived at about 9.00 pm (over 12 hours from the time of reporting), and we were plunged into darkness till they got the thing fixed at just before 11.00 pm. Over 14 hours after reporting that our various electrical appliances started working properly.

Why does Kenya Power work in this procrastinating manner, always? And as I mentioned, this was the 4th transformer being replaced and everytime it has been done in the dead of night. Why? In this case as well as previous ones, they had the option of doing so in the daytime, but, they delayed things till night. They inconvenience everybody by  doing this.

Now, there are other cases all over Nyali who have suddenly lost power for no reason and despite some of these 'officials' being informed and who  are on the Whatsapp residents' group list, there is no response from any of them, yet.

There is one particular one - A/c No. 0434314-2 whose ref. No. is 2643033 (which he finally got via Facebook at midnight), which has one phase not working since over 30 hours, now, but no response from Kenya Power. Why?

What is the matter with Kenya Power? In fact, I have been told by a neighbour who lives next to the transformer which they replaced two days ago, has been fixed in a very crooked manner and is wondering if she and other immediate neighbours are safe. What shoddy work!

Are not the employees proud of their work? Makes one wonder about the quote, 'if something needs to be done, it should be done properly'. These people hardly ever do. In the process of fixing one thing, they create another!

Therefore, one reaches the conclusion that these people are not proud of what they do and are there just to receive their salaries at the end of the month. This is what ails most 'service' providers in the country, unfortunately. Also, it reflects negatively on our educational institutions.

Pathetic work!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

'Poor' Kenya Power....!

The fluctuations began here in Umoja Estate at around 8.30 am when I called Eng. Biwott who would not answer his phone.

Therefore, I waited and tried again just before 9.00 am and this time he answered and assured me that he would get the thing seen to immediately. So, I waited some more and when, after half an hour there was no change, I called him again to find out how long it would take for the thing to be fixed.

This is when he informs me that he was no longer stationed in Mombasa and another by the name of Mohammed Amiyo was in his place and that he would SMS me his contact which he immediately and mercifully, did.

Then, I called Mr. Amiyo and informed him of the problem and he promised me that he would look into  it and call me back after investigating what was causing it. He did call me back a few minutes later to tell me that there was no  record of any complaints at their call centre and therefore it could be a localized problem. And he would send a team over to our estate immediately.

Well, I waited and waited and waited ..... and am still waiting as I write this but after 3 hours (it's now over 4 hours), I called him again and he would not answer his phone anymore. So, I sent him a whatsapp message to ask why he was not answering his phone after which he did answer but had nothing to tell me other than to wait! The team was on its way...

I, therefore, called the County Business Manager, Mr. Kennedy Owino who answered (he usually does), and he told me that he would find out and revert back to me.

He did in a few minutes and told me that their truck and team was sent to other more urgent work somewhere in Bamburi and would soon be coming our way to sort things out. 

Now, my question to Kenya Power is how come they have only one team at a time working in a big 'city' like Mombasa with mega power problems and not more? Are they so poor as to not be able to afford more? Despite, charging its customers an arm and a leg for VERY SHODDY SERVICES?

We are still suffering from mega fluctuations and there is not a sign or word from Kenya Power other than to 'have patience'. 

As I mentioned in my earlier missive, we are told by all kinds of 'service' providers, most of which charge us a hefty sum, to have patience. We are TIRED of this constant repetition of this word which is misused to cover a multitude of inefficiencies.

So, now will Kenya Power be responsible for the stuff in my fridge which is slowly getting spoilt due to it being switched off by the voltage regulator and pay me for the result of their negligence and inefficiency? 

Tell us, Kenya Power, for we are FED UP of your insolent behaviour.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Kenya Power and its many inefficiencies...

I was going to write this, last night, after an outage of over 4 hours in the morning. But, again thanks to  our very inefficient and opaque power company plunged us, who live in North Coast, in particular Nyali, into yet another time travel of a century back, I could not write this. Since we lost power yet again (second one in a day), from just before 7.00 pm to about an hour short of midnight!

First, let's take the matter of people, including their own employees, getting electrocuted...

I thought there was a regulation that no structure should be built or allowed to be built within a minimum of 6 feet of power poles or lines. But, what do we have here? Yesterday, 3 painters in Tudor got electrocuted while painting some building using a metal ladder. Now, how close was this building to the power lines?

Are not the town planners at the Council supposed to work hand in hand with major utilities when allowing a building to be put up so that such incidences (not accidents), do not happen? What I have found, instead, is that the town planners pass the plans and then write letters to the utility companies to supply their services.

And these services in turn behave like - hear no evil and see no evil and act dumb. They, without looking at the whole set up of how and where this structure is coming up, blindly supply their questionable 'services' which often result in fires and electrocutions, etc.

IF, these people would just be ethical and responsible, they should refuse to supply their 'services', as soon as they notice a breach. But, no. They do not even give a thought to the consequences of what they are doing because this country's officialdom have become so fond of money that they will overlook almost ANYTHING given the right price!

In fact, if they followed their own law and refused to supply services, there would  be a marked reduction in illegal structures of questionable origins and it would also have a domino effect everywhere.

Secondly, why, when carrying out maintenance, does Kenya Power NEVER abide by the timings advertised in the papers? Not only that, but, when they finally are restoring power, most times they plunge others into  darkness before they finally bring us back to  the 21st century! This happened to us, last night when they were restoring power to the Bamburi area which had been on a scheduled maintenance outage the whole day. 

When I  called the chief engineer to find out why we were suffering the 2nd outage of the day, I was told that they had a 'problem' while switching on the power for the Bamburi area. I was assured that it would take about an hour to restore power. Unfortunately, for us, the hour came and went and another one and another one but no sign of light. At one point, I was told that the lines are overloaded and hence our constant power problems.

Finally, they (ALL the senior officers of Kenya Power), quit answering their phones! Later, after the power came back, I got an automated message from a senior officer to call him back at 10.10 pm!!!!

Another one responded in like manner at 6.35 am, this morning!

What is the matter with these people? Do they sound responsible and ethical? I was even told by another senior personnel that they are trying to 'serve us better'! 

I  believe they are doing just the opposite...!

Very disgusted and FED UP!!!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Persistent outages.....

Nearly every single day, we, in Nyali either suffer from outages or fluctuations or both.

I personally inform our Kenya Power officialdom as soon as I experience fluctuations an example being yesterday early morning when I got up to pray at 5.00 am. 

I wonder if our chief engineer did anything about  them when I reported them because, later in the day they started again and since they are usually a precursor to mega outages that last for hours on end, I called him again and within minutes of my call we were plunged into an oppressive, hot and humid outage which also coincided with much needed rain.

Then Kenya Power went on its way to find the fault to Kipevu. By the time they found the fault the rain had stopped and it was already over 2 hours since we were plunged into a heated darkness.

It took them another hour to restore power which made our misery three and a half hours long.

Now, again, my question to Kenya Power is, 'why do  most of these outages affect Nyali so much and why do they mostly happen at nights?' And as I  mentioned in my last email, why does Mombasa in general suffer more outages than the rest of the country? This is very sinister...