The Kenyan Government has been making tremendous efforts to boost street lighting in order to create an enabling environment for doing business at night and to enhance security.
Kenya Power, which mainly spearheads the public lighting project, has now raised concern over increased cases of vandalized street lights which it says has cost it up to Sh60 million in seven months.
According to the acting general manager for Network Management and Infrastructure Development, David Mwaniki, the problem is experienced in most counties and is sabotaging efforts to turn the country into a 24-hour economy.
“We want people to continue working day and night to grow the economy in counties and that is why we are installing street lights in all urban centers, but criminals are messing up our work. They should be tamed,” he told businessdaily.
Kenya Power installed over 113,000 street lights countrywide in the year ended 30 June 2018 but it says that vandals are reversing the gains.
“We generate revenue from street light projects but when they are vandalised we get nothing, Police should wake up and do their job of protecting property,” he said.
The firm says that almost 40 percent of power supply interruptions experienced by customers are associated with vandalism related incidents.
The criminals, who mainly operate at night, target the infrastructure stealing transformers, street lamps, and wires, among other items for sale to rogue traders.
Several people have been sentenced to serve 10-year jail terms after being charged with vandalizing electrical conductors contrary to section 64(4) of the Energy Act.
Featured Image Courtesy: The Star