Residents to be evicted from power-line routes

Traders at Stimaline in Nakuru West Subcounty,operating under Electricity Pyron that carries 22,000 kilowatts of power. [Harun Wathari/Standard]

People who have illegally settled near oil pipelines and high-voltage electricity installations in Nakuru have seven days to move, the Government has said.

Already, two State agencies - Kenya Pipeline and Kenya Power - have issued eviction notices to residents of Ponda Mali and Kaptembwo slums.

The agencies said those who have settled near such installations are putting their lives in danger.

Kenya Power Central Regional Manager Geoffrey Muli and Kenya Pipeline Acting Managing Director Hudson Andambi said past efforts to move those living near power lines have been difficult.

Political incitement

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"Residents need to understand these areas are dangerous,” Mr Muli said.

Both Muli and Mr Andambi, who held meetings with local administrators and county government officials, said the eviction notices would be enforced.

Speaking to The Standard yesterday, Muli said residents in the two slums, which are in Nakuru Town West constituency, were among the most exposed.

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“Traders and locals who have constructed structures along the pipeline and power lines should voluntarily leave within seven days, failure to which we shall mobilise enforcement officers to push them out,” said Muli.

One power line known as the 'Uganda line' passes through the two slums, transmitting power from Uganda to the National Control Centre in Nairobi.

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“The line transmits a high amount of power, about 22,000 kilowatts,” Muli said.

He noted that the high-voltage cables have strong magnetic fields around them, which pose even bigger health risks.

According to Kenya Power, a line is required to have a way-leave of 30 metres.

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