Kenya power blackout fuels public outrage

Kenya power blackout fuels public outrage
Kenya power blackout fuels public outrage

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - NAIROBI — Kenyans are demanding answers after a nationwide power blackout plunged the country into darkness late on Sunday.

It hit at about 20:00 local time (17:00 GMT) - Kenya's third countrywide blackout in the past four months.

The outage disrupted several services, including at the main airport in the capital, Nairobi, where two terminals were without power for several hours.

Many Kenyans have criticized the government, as anger and frustration grows over recurring power disruptions.

By Monday morning, power had been restored to most of the country, except for some parts of Nairobi and the Coast region.

"We are working round the clock to restore normalcy to the remaining areas as soon as possible," Kenya Power, the state-run power provider, said in its most recent update.

Kenya Power and Transport Minister Kipchumba Murkomen has borne the brunt of the criticism.

"Kenya Power should offer financial compensation for loss of electricity which leads to loss of income, food spoiling, and loss of time. It's time Kenya Power became responsible for the power outages," one Kenyan said on X.

Murkomen has been criticized for letting another blackout hit the main airport, the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), despite making a promise in August - when Kenya experienced its longest countrywide power outage in recent years - that a power outage at the airport would "not happen again".

The outage affected two of the busiest JKIA terminals, with the airports authority explaining that the backup generators serving those terminals "failed to immediately activate".

Mr Murkomen said that the outage may have been an act of sabotage.

"Considering the frequency of the power disruption, and taking into account the fact that JKIA is a facility of strategic national importance, we are making a formal request to the National Police Service to investigate possible acts of sabotage and coverup," he posted on X.

Kenya has suffered several national power outages in recent months, including on 11 November, 25 August, 4 March and in November and December last year. — BBC

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