We are heading for the festive season where everyone is happy and waiting ansiously for the day to come. But you wake up having limited things to do due to lack of electricity. I tried to contact the landlord as to why their were no lights some days back but he told me they were going to sort it out and all will be fine. Its the fourth day now and still there is no electricity in site hence one has to use kerosene lamps and ‘korobois’ – a small lamp which burns heavily with alot of sooth.
A neighbour said that someone had used a heater and the power voltage became short hence causing the lights to go off. In kibera it is very different like the other parts of the city because people connect the electricity for themselves. When power goes off you will notice people on top of the electricity post trying to recconnect back the power. These causes these pros as the community or as they could call themseleves to get into business with the electricity.
You will come across a electricity dealers distributing power to more than 500 houses. Whenever the lights go off they would go up there to fix it so that he can continue getting money from his/her customers. These people have gone to an extend of having their own KPLC(Kenya Power and Lightening Company) uniforms which they use whenever at work. They never returned uniforms they were given when they were hired to dig holes for the posts nor the gears and shields they use to climb the post with during that time. They are using the knowledge they learned then and some of their general knowledge to fix the power which at most times brings many problems.
Many a times you will find there is no power in Kibera due to many issues. The main one being many people using one line of power which causes a low voltage at the main transformer. A dealer will agree to provide you with power for a small amount of fee but he will warn you against using strong electrical equipments such as heaters, gas cookers and fridges. These will consume alot of power hence causing the power to dim when plugged in.
The Kenya Power and Lightening Company has done very little to stop this and the people of Kibera have found an alternate way to get their own power. These has become more than a business as many people in the business use the money to raise there families and to take their children to school.
According to a research made in Kibera it has been found that many people are using power from the local dealers instead of the power provided by the Kenya Power and Lightening Company claiming that the company power is expensive and goes out anytime time unexpectedly. Because of these the people prefer to buy power from the local dealers which is goes for Ksh. 250 to a maximum of Ksh. 300 monthly. The dealer has more than 2 lines of power, incase one line of power goes out in a certain location he can change the line and the residents will not have a power break out. I guess this is the reason many people prefer this power to the one provided by the company.
This is how electricity is distributed around many parts of Kibera and it is you to decide which electricity you want to use.