Kenya thrown into darkness following a power blackout

Tuesday January 9 2018

Blackout in Mombasa.

Blackout throws Mombasa into darkness on January 9, 2018. Most of Kenya was thrown into darkness on January 9, 2018. PHOTO | MOHAMMED AHMED | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Most parts of Kenya were in darkness following a widespread blackout on Tuesday night.

Many counties or some sections of the counties experienced the blackout. They include, many parts of Bomet, Embu, Kiambu, Kisii, Kisumu, Laikipia, Nairobi, Narok, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Mombasa, Meru, Taita Taveta, Tharaka-Nithi and Uasin Gishu counties.

However, some areas, such as Kawangware and Karura in Nairobi County, were not affected.

In a statement, Kenya Power said a power system disturbance caused the outage, but “engineers are battling to identify the fault and restore power supply as quickly as possible.”


Many traders countrywide were forced to close their businesses early due to the blackout.

In Chuka Town, Tharaka-Nithi County, hotel manager Jane Kathoni told the Nation that she was caught off guard because her back-up power generator was faulty.

She said she might a huge loss if the power is not back soon, as there was a lot of food in refrigerators at the hotel.

"If the power outage continues, it will cause a lot of loss," said MS Kathoni.

In Embu, fish monger Ben Githinji said he was counting losses as he uses electricity to prepare the fish and also refrigerate them.

Blackout in Nakuru.

Blackout in Nakuru Town on January 9, 2018. The blackout was experienced countrywide. PHOTO | AYUB MUIYURO | NATION MEDIA GROUP


In western Kenya, many hospitals resorted to emergency back-up generators.

Dr Juliana Otieno, the CEO of the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Referral Hospital in Kisumu County, said: “I have a very powerful generator. [The hospital] would really suffer before, but now, even my nursery is functional.”

The rest of the town, including the central business district, was in darkness; except in areas with back-up generators.

Residents complained of being idle after the power blackout that has rocked the city.

A resident, Mrs Terry Okello expressed her disappointment at the power outage saying it had interfered with many people’s plans.

“We had put perishable food in the refrigerators and now we are afraid they will get spoilt,” she said.

Some salons and hotels hired generators to continue with their activities, while other shops were closed early.

Blackout in Kisii.

Blackout in Kisii Town on January 9, 2018. The blackout was experienced countrywide. PHOTO | MAGATI OBEBO | NATION MEDIA GROUP


In Kakamega, supermarkets and hotels were relying on power generators.

Kenya Power Kakamega County manager Eunice Wafula said emergency teams were on standby to deal with hitch and engineers were working to restore supply.

“Most parts of the county are without power but the issue is being [addressed] to ensure normal supply is restored,” said Ms Wafula.

Kakamega County Director of Medical Services Dr Arthur Andere said hospitals in the county were using power generators and normal services were not disrupted by the power outage.

Kenya Power regional manager David Mugambi said the problem was massive and they were doing everything possible to fix it.

In Kisii, public institutions, among them Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital, Kisii GK Prison and schools, were forced to use generators.

In Migori, hospitals and hotels were thrown into darkness following sudden power blackout. But residents complained that they were not forewarned.

“We were not given a notice for this blackout and we have been seriously inconvenienced,” said Mr Tom Oyoo, a proprietor of a local private hospital.