Kenya Seeks Assistance from Uganda to Address Power Crisis Following 20-Hour Nairobi Airport Outage

Kenya Power Crisis Prompts Collaboration with Uganda for Solution After Airport Outage
PHOTO - BBC - Kenya's Power Crisis Prompts Collaboration with Uganda for Solution After Airport Outage
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Kenya Power, the national electric utility company of Kenya, has contacted Uganda for support in resolving the ongoing power crisis within the country.

The power outage, which occurred due to a disturbance in the system, happened on Friday and affected various parts of Kenya.

The outage resulted in extended periods of darkness for passengers at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), the primary airport in Nairobi.

Videos from local media showed individuals using the flashlight feature on their mobile phones to navigate through the darkened airport.

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The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) mentioned that one of its standby generators failed to function when the power grid went down.

Kipchumba Murkomen, the Transport Cabinet Secretary, offered apologies for the nationwide blackout that impacted JKIA. He promised to discuss with airport leaders and announce measures to prevent such incidents in the future.

In addition, Murkomen removed Alex Gitari, the head of Kenya’s airports authority.

He further noted that political interference has led to a dispirited and disorderly workforce.

Despite some regions experiencing a partial restoration of power, significant power shortages continue to affect most parts of the country, as stated by the authority.

Kenya Power explained that it would have been more efficient and convenient to import electricity from Uganda, but this option wasn’t available during the crisis.

Nevertheless, they have sought assistance from Uganda to address the over 20-hour power outage.

To recover the grid, Kenya Power isolated the lines supplying electricity to the affected generators and utilized power from the Seven Fork Hydro power stations.

However, this approach took longer compared to importing electricity from Uganda, which was not feasible at the time.

The restoration efforts began in the Central and Eastern Regions and then progressed towards Nairobi.

Kenya Power is also in the final stages of integrating power from the Olkaria complex, where most geothermal plants are located. This step aims to restore the supply to areas still experiencing power outages.

The state-owned utility company, holding a monopoly in Kenya, reported that the power outage was triggered by a loss of 270MW generation from the Lake Turkana Wind Power Plant (LTWP). This imbalance in the power system led to the shutdown of other primary generation units and stations.

Kenya Power extends apologies for any inconvenience caused and expresses gratitude for the patience of its esteemed customers.

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