Residents of Ndeiya sub-county in Kiambu County have raised a red flag over increased theft of transformers and vandalism of electric cables.
In a period of one week, area Deputy County Commissioner Stanley Mutua decried that the area has experienced a wave of transformer theft, a crime that has left hundreds of locals without power.
The criminals, he said, are targeting all Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) installations and have managed to steal two transformers in two days.
Three other transformers, he said, have been disconnected from the main power, a situation that has plunged the area into darkness.
Speaking to journalists, Mutua revealed that security details in the area have made arrangements to commence raids to reign in the crooks who he said are taking advantage of the remoteness of the semi-arid sub-county.
“This is a rural area in Kiambu County and the criminals could be taking advantage of that to steal and disconnect transformers. We have however made arrangements to commence raids to arrest those found culpable of aiding or being at the centre of the crime,” said Mutua.
He stated that KPLC has lost valuable installations that are of different sizes adding that the criminals are concentrating on getting away with copper wires.
The official further said investigations have commenced establishing persons being supplied with the key installations.
“They are specifically targeting copper wire. They drop the transformer down; they pour the oil before taking away the wires. We are keen to know who are those being supplied with the copper wires,” he added.
Residents blame scrap metal business
He blamed the reopening of the scrap metal business as one of the facilitating factors that have resulted in dealers engaging in such crimes.
On their part, residents protested that the disruption of power supply has been affecting their livelihoods, especially the businesses connected to the grid that entirely rely on electricity for production.
Loss of power in the area, residents said, has occasioned insecurity and theft of livestock such as sheep, a situation that is giving them sleepless nights besides instilling fear among them.
“We are saddened that the theft of transformers is taking us back to using tin lamps which are harmful to our eyes. Our livestock are now being stolen by criminals and some people can no longer go about their businesses with ease,” Loise Wanjiru, a resident, regretted.