Buildings under power lines to be demolished

At least 53 houses constructed next to high-voltage power-lines in Nakuru town have been marked for demolition.

Kenya Power Central Rift way-leave officer Daisy Chumba said houses marked for demolition were located on the 6.5-kilometres stretch from Kaptembwo to Lanet power station.

“Both temporary and permanent structures under the lines will be pulled down to avert danger,” she said.

A notice issued to residents on October 4 expires on October 11.

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The company is also placing beacons along the way-leave to prevent further encroachment.

“We have our own surveyors who are mapping the way-leave and placing beacons using a map acquired from Ministry of Lands,” she said.

Traders at Stimaline in Nakuru West Subcounty, operating under a high voltage power line. Demolitions begin this week. [Harun Wathari, Standard]

Last week, the agency issued a seven days’ eviction notice to residents of Kaptembwo and Ponda Mali, and warned the residents against putting their lives at risk. 

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“We wish to advise that we have visited the site and our investigations indicate that you have infringed into our 132/33 transmission line within Nakuru-Kaptembwo area by constructing structures underneath the power line way-leave. Kindly note that the structures are interfering with our operations and maintenance of the same and this could lead to serious consequences that include fatalities and damage to property,” reads the eviction notice.

According to Energy Regulation Act 2019, which came into force on March 28, 2019, Kenya Power can charge people encroaching on its line’s way-leave.

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Penalties are a fine of not less than Sh1 million or one year imprisonment.

The 22,000 kilowatt Uganda line transmits power from Uganda to the National Control Centre in Nairobi for redistribution countrywide.

From Uganda, it connects to Musaga in Kakamega, then to Mamboleo in Muhoroni, Kisumu, and Chemosit in Kericho. At Chemosit, it supplies electricity to parts of Kericho and Kisii counties.

According to Kenya Power, among the five control centres, Nakuru is the most notorious for encroachment on power way-leave.

“Kenya power and other stakeholders have conducted several sensitisation meetings with locals, informing them on dangers they pose themselves to, but they have continued to defy the order to move,” said Chumba.

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Kenya Power will be working with Kenya Pipeline Company and county leadership to move the encroachers.

Hundreds of residents also operate within the Kenya Pipeline grid.

“We shall not wait for disaster to happen. This is why plans are underway to evict people from pipeline way-leave,” said Kenya Pipeline Company acting managing director Hudson Andambi.

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Kenya PowerNakuru West