Sunday, May 8, 2016

Kenya Power is going from bad to worse...

We, at the coast and in particular the ones who live in Nyali and environs, are the long suffering consumers of very 'dirty' power as supplied by Kenya Power.

Not a day goes by without a whole lot of people living on the North Coast who are either without any power or some phases not working or on very low voltage. And these unfortunately are the ones that are connected to fridges, etc., where food is stored and which in turn cause losses to the consumer of thousands of shillings due to it going bad in this heat with a highly erratic and questionable power supply.

Kenya Power's so-called 'emergency' numbers are hardly EVER answered - even via Facebook or Twitter and even when they finally dish out their reference numbers, the problem still does not get solved. 

Just going through our residents' Whatsapp group today was like a very frustrating experience for a number of people who have been missing power altogether for over 14 hours or more - some even for DAYS on end!!!!

Yesterday afternoon I discovered something else... When our estate and the neighbourhood lost power, I called our 'new' chief Engineer, Mr. Amiyo immediately who  in turn responded by saying that he would have a 'look' and quickly hung up.

I  waited for over half an hour for either some feedback or the power to be restored in vain. Trying to get him to answer the phone was now a very frustrating experience as he was either 'rejecting' my calls or the thing was perpetually busy.

In this country, trying to get 'officials' on their phones can be a VERY trying experience, especially if they are trying to avoid answering your 'difficult' questions!

Finally, after trying umpteen numbers of times, he answered and when asked what the problem was, I was told that he was still waiting for the 'operators' as this  was a Saturday afternoon and nobody was working!!!!! I was very surprised by this answer because I and almost everybody else out there is under the impression that the emergency outfit of  Kenya Power would be available 24/7. He assured me that this was not the case and that they worked normal office hours (9.00 to 5.00). How strange! No wonder some of us are suffering days of outages!

How disgusting that despite charging its customers an arm and a leg (where the charges keep going up every month, almost), they do not have a 24/7 hours emergency service. There is  also the matter of them having only ONE operating truck for the whole of Mombasa!!! That, I discovered when one of our estate transformers had to be replaced and they did not come here to diagnose the problem despite having been informed about the low voltage from 8.30 am. Their excuse - only ONE truck! This was doing something more urgent in Bamburi and after finishing which, it would be available to deal with our problem.

This afternoon, we lost power, again, for some reason best known to Kenya Power and when I called Mr. Amiyo (he answered fortunately), he gave me his standard response and hung up. Mercifully, after about 5 minutes, we got our power back, thank God.

Is Kenya Power so cash strapped that it cannot afford more trucks and having 24/7 emergency unit/s?