Load Shedding Explained: The Strategy CS Chirchir is Banking on to End Blackouts

Kenya Power technicians installing a transformer in Kisumu County on April 5, 2022.
Kenya Power technicians installing a transformer in Kisumu County on April 5, 2022.
Kenya Power

On Sunday, Kenya was once again thrown into darkness for the third time in 3 months putting senior government officials including Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir and Kenya Power CEO Joseph Siror on the spot.

While informing Kenyans what happened during a press conference on Monday, Energy CS Davis Chirchir said the government was looking at long-term solutions to address the problem including introducing a load-shedding system that will help reduce the frequent outages.

''One of the mitigations or interventions that we will be going back to the engineers to sit on is load shedding,'' the CS stated.

But what is load shedding and how does it work? Kenyans.co.ke takes a look at that below.

Energy and Petroleum CS Davis Chirchir at a forum on Thursday June 15, 2023
Energy and Petroleum CS Davis Chirchir at a forum on Thursday, June 15, 2023
Ministry of Energy

Load shedding is a controlled and temporary reduction of electricity supply to prevent a complete system failure. 

It involves deliberately cutting power to specific areas in a planned manner. 

By doing this, the overall demand on the power grid is reduced, preventing widespread blackouts. 

It helps balance the available power with the demand, ensuring a more stable and reliable electricity supply for everyone.

While making his speech, CS Chirchir explained that instead of overloading a line and causing a countrywide power outage, he has recommended that some feeders be removed to lessen the overload.

''Instead of pushing the lines to an overload, we will basically give the line the load that it can carry and therefore have some kind of scheduled load shedding,'' he added.

This means that some parts of the country will have to grapple with scheduled blackouts to relieve the lines carrying the power to avoid national trips.

CS Chirchir stated that he would sit down with energy parastatal bosses and discuss how they can successfully employ load shedding to avoid future blackouts.

Chirchir, who sits at the helm of the Energy Ministry has been blamed for the frequent power outages with Kenyans calling on him to take responsibility for failing to correct the situation.

Meanwhile, Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has invited the National Police Service (NPS) to investigate what he described as potential sabotage at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) following 3 blackouts within 3 months.

Blackout at JKIA
JKIA suffers a blackout on Sunday, December 10, 2023