Close to 20 street lamps, each valued at between Sh20,000 and Sh30,000 were stolen from the streets of Thika town over the weekend.
The lamps, which had been installed through a street lighting project by Thika Town MP Patrick Wainaina and funded by his Jungle Foundation, were removed from a series of masts along Thika-Mang’u and Gatuanyaga-Munyu roads by unknown people.
Mr Isaiah Ngaruiya, the foundation’s street lighting programme officer, told the Nation that they suspect the lamps were stolen by skilled electricians owing to the manner in which they were removed from their masts.
“This could be a case of impunity but we highly suspect the one behind this has a ready market for them and is most likely selling them to counties that are currently undertaking street lighting projects. These are not lamps that can be used at home, they consume too much power,” said Ngaruiya.
He added that a similar incident had happened along road leading towards Gatanga after the Blue Post Hotel a while ago.
Following the incident, police have initiated night patrols in the town, particularly on the affected roads.
“The thieves are targeting the masts installed in less populated areas where chances of being seen by locals are minimal,” explained Mr Ngaruiya.
CALL FOR VIGILANCE
On his part, Mr Wainaina requested all residents to be vigilant and report anyone found interfering with street light poles near them.
“This criminal activity is happening in blatant disregard of the law. Impunity has brought our country to its knees. This must stop,” he said.
While launching the lighting project last year, the MP said he intended to transform Thika town into a 24-hour economy and enhance security of residents traveling and working at night.
“Small business operators will have the opportunity to operate their businesses until late into the night without fear because criminals will keep off the well-lit areas,” said Mr Wainaina.
The Jungle Foundation has so far installed about 400 street lights in the constituency.