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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Why there’s always frequent power blackouts during the rainy season; KPLC CEO

Kenya Power Chief Executive Officer (KPLC) Joseph Siror explains why Kenyans experience frequent power blackouts during the rainy seasons. 

KPLC CEO Joseph Siror said in an interview with Citizen TV on Tuesday that it’s expected that heavy rains may disrupt the power distribution lines, resulting in short circuits.

For instance, if heavy rains swing trees or electricity wires, bringing them into contact, could result in a short circuit. 

“When it rains heavily, it can cause trees to fall on the line, and it causes a short circuit, thereby causing a disturbance on the network,” Siror explained.

“Sometimes rains are accompanied by strong winds which have an effect on the conductors and cause a disturbance.”

The CEO additionally noted that heavy rainfall might cause electrical poles to become unstable due to strong surface runoff water. 

“Rain does a number of things. There is the aspect of lightning which is part of the factors but in certain installations like the poles and pylons we have a situation where during heavy rains, some of them are washed away,” he added.

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The CEO of Kenya Power was responding to concerns expressed by Kenyans who over the years faced power blackouts at the start of rains, some of which persist longer than the rainy season.

So dire is the situation that it is predictable.

Lightning is also a major factor in power outages as ‘the transient high voltages may cause flashover on the electrical equipment on the power line.’

Lightning intercepts line conductors, towers or shielding wires, with the tallest being affected the most.

To prevent these occurrences, the company has installed surge diverters to redirect excess charge to the ground and safeguard equipment and customer appliances from damage.

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