Residents of Komarock Estate in Nairobi are counting their losses after their electronic appliances were short-circuited following a power surge.
Speaking exclusively to Kenyans.co.ke, a resident from the expansive Nyamavilla Estate disclosed that the surge occurred at around 10 p.m.
He noted that his 43-inch TV that was connected directly to the power source was destroyed as well as his laptop charger.
He further noted that weeks prior to the surge, the neighbourhood had experienced power interruptions and it seemed that numerous visits from Kenya Power staff did little to solve the issue.Kenya Power staff working on electricity lines at Soysambu Conservancy on February 22, 2021File
"It happened around 10:30 p.m. The area had experienced power fluctuations for a month. It is on and off and most times people were in the dark.
"Kenya power staff came often but the transformer repairs only lasted for a day or two. In a day, power goes out after 20 mins. It was due to the transformer," stated the resident.
A caretaker identified as John who manages a two-story building corroborated the story disclosing that he lost an electric borehole pump valued at millions of shillings.
He also noted that a majority of his tenants had reported damage to their house appliances including fridges and television sets.
"Suddenly, there was a power surge and people just heard explosions. I lost a water pump worth Ksh1.5 million. Another neighbour lost a TV," he stated.
A statement from Kenya Power, however, explained that when a surge happens, the affected individuals are required to write to the parastatal's insurance department for the compensation process to begin.
"Complaints related to damage to customer property caused by electricity are handled by our Insurance Department. The process begins with the complainant lodging a formal complaint through our Contact Centre and getting a reference number.
"The complainant writes to our insurance team (citing the reference number) describing the items that got damaged and the extent of the damage for each item as corroborated by a certified electrician. Thereafter investigations are carried out to determine the next steps and the customer will be advised," read the statement.Kenya Power engineers carry out repairs at a power sub-station in Mombasa County in 2018
Nairobi Lawyer Aremba Samba, however, explained that the affected parties had an option of suing Kenya Power but exposed challenges when it comes to claiming compensation.
He noted that the law is designed to protect parastatals making it difficult for victims to get compensation even after winning court cases.
"I think the biggest problem is that Kenya Power has enjoyed a lot of monopoly. Through that, it has had a lot of protection considering it is a parastatal. That does not make them much responsive.
"Ideally, when you have lost property because of their negligence, you can sue. The problem will be recovering whatever the court has awarded you. It becomes a bit hard to enforce just like a government office," he explained.
"The law makes it very hard to recover from a government entity. You can't just auction a Kenya power car," added the lawyer.
Before getting to the expensive process, however, Kenyans are advised to take precautionary measures such as acquiring a guard or a fuse to prevent their appliances from getting destroyed by a power surge or fluctuation.TV and Fridge guards that people can use to prevent destruction of appliances due to power surge.
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