Over 2000 families in Mandera South Sub County are appealing to the Kenya Power and Lighting company (KPLC) to restore electricity after ten days in the dark.
Several transformers blew up and high tension power lines fell causing the power outage.
Areas affected by the prolonged power outage are Elwak, Wargadud and Borehole Eleven towns.
Locals say the Kenya Power office in Elwak has not made any efforts to restore power. The residents have accused the company of laxity in replacing old engines, leaving the streets and towns in the affected areas in darkness.
Kullow Ibrahim, a resident, said criminal gangs have taken advantage of the situation to rob locals who return home late from work.
“The engine in Elwak town exploded three years back and has never been replaced. We are appealing to the KPLC to render due diligence. We have a right to electricity and peace,” said Ibrahim.
Shops and hotel owners in Elwak are counting losses due to the blackout.
“I sell meat and other perishable products in the refrigerator and the power outage is not doing any good to my business,” said Ali Hassan.
The power company has also been on the spot for failing to conduct maintenance of transformers in the area causing them to explode frequently.
On his part, Kenya Power station manager for Elwak Issack Issack admitted the areas have been without electricity but promised to restore it before the end of the month.
"The problem has been there for close to ten days now. The delay is because some spare parts have been missing but now we have gotten a new consignment. We will have power restored once we receive them from Nairobi next week,” Issack said.
Mid last year 2022, a group of people took to the streets to complain about the constant power blackout.
In response to the mass action, KPLC allowed the residents to enjoy uninterrupted power supply for one month after which they resumed the “rationing” again.
Mandera county is not connected to the national grid and instead uses diesel powered generators that were functional since the early 80’s when the county was small in size.
In the last decade, the town expanded following large movement of pastoralists from the outskirts into the town areas due to prolonged droughts.
The three towns, with a population of over 20, 000 people, had been plunged into darkness following the mechanical breakdown of the diesel generator at Elwak power station that has supplied the area over decades.