50 households in danger after power polls were uprooted



Kakamega County

By Anne Chebet

Over 50 households at Mirere village in Shibuli sub location, Lurambi Sub County are living in fear after electricity polls fell on their houses and hasn’t been removed for five days now.

The incident that took place last week after a heavy storm uprooted the poles which area residents claim they had rotten.

Wambayi Owate, one of the residents said the incident happened last Friday between 5.00-6.00pm and that three poles were uprooted by the heavy storms.

“A transformer that is mounted in two of the poles that were uprooted caught fire which lasted close to 30minutes. At this time, we were trying to salvage our valuables from our houses but what saved us was when the power went off,” said Wambayi.

Mr Wambayi said he cannot get out of his compound unless he uses an alternative rout as the electricity lines are lying across his gate.

According to Wambayi, they alerted the Kenya Power emergency team which came to the ground the following day and assessed the situation.

“Kenya Power emergency team told us they were going to bring equipments and do repairs the same Saturday but up to date we have never seen them. We have been making calls to them but we have been receiving empty promises,” said Wambayi.

He said the electricity lines are dangerous to his family and his neighbours since they are still active, saying they have young children who risk being electrocuted in case they come into contact with the electricity lines when adults are not around them.

“Only one line was disconnected except for the other two that come directly from the transformer that caught fire are still active. When wind blows, sparks of fire normally come out of it. We are urging Kenya Power to come and rectify the problem before we report deaths and destruction of property,” said Wambayi.

Patrick Omogi a resident, said the he was forced to remove all household belongings from his house and take them elsewhere since the transformer is hanging on his house.

“The transformer is hanging on my house and if it will explode, my house will be reduced to ashes. Kenya Power is not taking the issue with the seriousness it deserves as we are not secure. I have not slept in my house since Friday when the incident occurred,” said Mr Omogi.

But Kenya Power Kakamega centre, Assistant manager, Martin Karubani, said that they are aware of the incident and that they have assessed the situation.

“We sent a team from the emergency and safety department who assessed the situation and necessary action will be taken. We have poles ready with us and we are going to rectify the problem,” said Mr Karubani.