Kenya Power Announces System Change After Deadly Electrocution

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  • Kenya Power has announced that it has commenced the overhaul of some of its transmission systems after a deadly electrocution over the weekend sparked an uproar.

    The incident left three Rothschild’s giraffes dead at Soysambu Conservancy after coming into contact with live power wires. The Rothschild’s giraffe is one of the most endangered giraffe species in the world.

    In a press statement sent on Monday, February 22 the company said a team has been dispatched to review and redesign the power infrastructure system in the area.

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    “Led by the Nakuru County Business Manager and the County Operations and Maintenance Engineer, (Kenya Power) has today commenced the process of enhancing the clearance of the electricity distribution infrastructure at Soysambu Conservancy so as to forestall a recurrence of the unfortunate incident where three Rothschild giraffes were electrocuted over the weekend,” read a statement from the utility firm.

    Kenya Power staff working on electricity lines at Soysambu Conservancy on February 22, 2021
    Kenya Power staff working on electricity lines at Soysambu Conservancy on February 22, 2021
    File

    Kenya Power is undertaking this exercise in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Soysambu Conservancy’s management and other stakeholders. 

    The overhaul will involve an audit of the entire infrastructure within the conservancy to make any other rectifications that may be required.

    “We regret this incident because we recognize that wildlife forms an integral part of our natural and cultural psyche and. We appreciate the feedback shared by various stakeholders on this matter,” Kenya Power CEO Bernard Ngugi said.

    “Ensuring that we adhere to the highest forms of safety in all our undertakings, is a prerequisite for us. We thus take any electricity-related accidents seriously and we will use the lessons gleaned to avoid a recurrence of the same, ” added Ngugi.

    Kenya Power will work in partnership with KWS and other stakeholders to extend the audit exercise to other wildlife parks across the country to ensure that infrastructure does not pose further danger.

    Environmentalists have confirmed that a total of 11 giraffes have died as a result of electrocution due to low-hanging exposed power lines.

    “It was never their wish to be tall, please do not kill our already endangered giraffes,” urged a wildlife enthusiast on Twitter after the incident. 

    Kenya Power staff working on electricity lines at Soysambu Conservancy on February 22, 2021
    Kenya Power staff working on electricity lines at Soysambu Conservancy on February 22, 2021
    File

    According to data from the world’s largest environment network, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, fewer than 670 Rothschild giraffes now live in the wild, in isolated populations. 

    Some 40 percent live in national parks and private land in Kenya and the remaining 60 percent in Uganda.

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