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Energy CS, Kenya Power CEO in hot water after nationwide blackout

Kenya has experienced several nationwide blackouts in the last one year

Energy CS Davis Chirchir & Kenya Power CEO Joseph Siror

The National Assembly Committee on Energy has taken a step to seek answers to the recent nationwide blackout that left the nation in darkness on Friday, August 25.

The blackout, which had widespread repercussions including the disruption of critical installations such as Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), has prompted the committee to summon Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir and Kenya Power CEO Joseph Siror for an explanation.

In a communication released by the committee's secretariat, the chairman stated that the abrupt blackout had not only paralyzed the nation but also caused severe inconveniences to the general public, with reports of stranded passengers at JKIA enduring hours of discomfort and uncertainty.

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"The chairman has directed that we summon the CS Energy together with the CEO of KPLC on Thursday to explain the cause of the current nationwide blackout which has paralysed the nation, including the International Airport," the statement read.

The session is scheduled to take place on Thursday August 31.

The blackout, which occurred on Friday evening, left homes, businesses, and public institutions without power for an extended period of time.

This unprecedented event exposed the vulnerabilities within the country's energy infrastructure and sparked concerns about the reliability and stability of the power supply.

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The summoned officials are expected to present a comprehensive report on the sequence of events leading to the blackout, the efforts taken to restore power, and the steps that will be implemented to safeguard the energy infrastructure from such disruptions.

Additionally, questions about the preparedness of critical installations, such as airports, to handle such situations will likely be addressed during the session.

Kenya has experienced three nationwide blackouts between January 11, 2022, and August 25, 2023:

  1. On January 11, 2022: The Kiambere-Embakasi high voltage transmission power line fell over, causing a nationwide blackout.
  2. On March 4, 2023, A fault on a transmission line caused a nationwide blackout lasting several hours. Initial reports indicated that the outage was caused by a fault that occurred on the Suswa-Loyangalani high-voltage power transmission line.
  3. August 25, 2023: Power outages were reported nationwide, including at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

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