By Sylvia Nekesa &Peter Ombedha
The on-going slum electrica
-tion project by the Kenya power com- pany in Kibera may be counterpro-ductive if the targeted residents don’tapply for legal power connection.
The project which started in 2009 to
make electricity connection afford-able to a targeted 65,000 residents
is in its nal phase at Gatwekera.
However numerous cables of illegally connected electricity stillrun in the slum raising questions onthe success of the project which oncompletion will cost Kenya Power 195 million shillings. The plan wasto subsidize the cost of applying for legal electricity to 1600 shillings for the people living in the slums. Cur-rently it costs a minimum of 35000shillings in the rest of the country.This has made the residents toopt for cheaper yet dangerous waysof getting electricity through cartelsthat tap the main lines and distrib-ute power at a low cost of around500 shillings per month. In June,
The Kibera Mirror
did an investiga-tive story on electricity cartels that
make up to 200,000 shillings per
month from distributing electricity.Hannington Ojijo says he sup- ports the company for coming up withthe project because he expects the pow-er connection in his area to be stable.He says, “I know one reasonthey (Kenya Power) are doing this project is because they are losinga lot of power in Kibera but it will
Project may not reduce electricity theft
Sinai victimsgo to court
Politicians warned against incitement
By Mirror reporter
Politicians have been warnedthat the government will not allow arepeat of violence caused by incite-
ment like it happened in 2007 after
the general elections. The KasaraniDistrict commissioner Evans Mtariwas speaking during the Mathare peace day on September 13 atMathare AREA 4 where he was thechief guest. The DC reiterated hiscommitment to promoting peace-ful coexistence within the slums.“I will work hand in hand withall the chiefs and the peace committeesin Mathare and Korogocho to ensurethat any politician who incites the pub-lic against members of certain com-munities will face the law.” He said“Those politicians who holdmeetings at night have also beenwarned. Why don’t you cam- paign during the day when ev-eryone can see you?” He asked.The DC also raised the issueof insecurity in the district tellingthe residents to provide informa-tion to the police on anyone thatthey suspect is a thief among them.“We have reports that some plac-es are no go zones during the eveninglike Lucky Summer and the fact isthese muggers live among us and youshould help us catch them.” He saidThe event was meant tostrengthen unity between the com-munities living in Mathare and thesurrounding slums in Kasarani. Itwas attended by all the chiefs and
divisional ofcers in the district
plus local leaders. Ironically lo-cal politicians kept off the event.
From page 1
than ve and she claims she does
not have another source of income.Her hands and face are covered withscars that require surgery to remove but she cannot afford the money.“When I went to the hospital, I
was required to deposit 20,000 shil
-lings but where do I get the money?”she asks. She lost her two nephews thatshe was taking care of as her sister wasat work and is yet to come to terms.18 year old Nahashon Mainawas a form four student at AquinasHigh School at that time last year.He lost two uncles and his sister whowas pregnant at that time. His fa-ther suffered severe burns that madehim spend six months in hospital.“Our family has suffereda lot since my father is the sole bread winner. The government onlygave out 60,000 shillings to cater for burial expenses only.” He says“To make matters worse the gov-ernment refuses anyone to constructin the area so those ones who surviveddo not have anywhere to go.” He adds.A visit to the area was greeted byvacuum silence and charred remainsof the houses that were burnt duringthe inferno. The residents claim thatsometimes there is a smell of petrolfrom the drainage but no one comesout to scoop the fuel. A small pig stystill stands next to the river bank anda black post near it that residents of the area say is a stark reminder of thedarkest hour in the history of the slum.
Mukuru residents in court over land
By Mirror reporter
Residents of the slums aroundindustrial area have moved to courtover the right of the land on which
the slums seat. Under the umbrella
of Muungano wa Wanakijiji- a hu-man rights group, they want the titledeeds of politicians and companiesthat own land on which the slums seatto be cancelled citing public interest.Their suit which was men-tioned in the Milimani law courts on
September 12 claims the land own
-ers have no right to claim any of the lands in question since the slumdwellers have lived there for years.The residents claim thatsince the owners of the landshave failed to use them for the purposes they were supposed tothen their titles deeds are invalid.Some of the companies en- joined in the suit include Orbit Chem-icals, Embakasi developers and NashMotors. A presidential aspirant whoowns several parcels of land at MukuruKwa Rueben has also been enjoined.The companies sued on theother hand claim that it is the resi-dents in the slums who have pre-vented them from developing their lands terming them as squattersand want the courts to interverne.The residents say theydo not want to live under threatof eviction by the land owners.All the slums in Kenya are as-sumed to be sitting on public land or private land and there are no clear policies on that. The suit which is
the rst of its kind promises to be
an epic court battle between the richand the poor. The hearing continues.
Two killed after deadly re
razes houses in Kibera
By Peter Ombedha
Two people died after a deadly
re tragedy at Laini Saba in Kib
era on the night of September 23.
Among the dead was a 93-year-old granny. Although the cause of the
re is still unknown, eyewitnesses
say 93 year-old Alice Mbaira and her neighbour Ken Onyango perished because Alice is blind and could notsave herself. Onyango died as he was
trying to save her from the ames.
Cellar Wanjiku, the daugh-ter OF Alice said she had goneto the chemist to buy medicine
SWEATY AFFAIR: Casuals hired by the Kenya PowerCompany pull a pole to be used in the new power project tomake electricity affordable for Kibera residents
Photo Peter: Ombedha
KasaraniDistrictCommis-ioner EvansMtari speaksduring theMatharepeace day.He warnedpoliticiansagainstcampaigningat night
Some residents say they like the idea, but 1,600 shillings for a connection is still too high.
It costs 500 shillingsto get electricityconnection throughcartels
AFRICAN REGIONAL AL BURAOPROJECT
0728 367 674
for her mother at around 10
p.m. only to nd their house in ames.
Their house is among 30 housesthat were burnt to the ground in the in-ferno. It has not been established howmany people were affected but doz-ens spent the night in the cold yester-day as the city council of Nairobi did
not send any re trucks to the scene.
Red Cross personnel cameto the scene the next morning toassist those who were affected.They provided them with ma-tresses, clothes and food as theywaited for government assistance.
help the businessmen who alwayscry whenever there is a black out.”According to Engineer JaredOtieno of Kenya Power, the com- pany loses up to 3 million shillingsworth of electricity per year in Kib-era alone with 54% of the residentssaying the high cost of getting con-nected to the national grid is pre-venting them from applying for le-gal electricity. he says some of thefactors affecting energy demand inKibera are coercion by local provid-ers who threaten would be customers,wiring costs and goal incongruence between tenants and land owners.Some of the residents inter-viewed by The Ghetto Mirror sayalthough they like the idea, the1600 shillings charged for connec-tion is still too high. David On-yango, a barber says the power company ought to reduce the cost.“However, I will still apply to getconnected for safety reasons.” He says.Another engineer of the compa-ny who requested anonymity becausehe is not allowed to speak to the presssays the company does not expect areduction in electricity theft but therewould be enhanced safety measures put in place. The company is usingconcrete poles which cannot be de-
stroyed in the event of a re outbreak.
Those who will apply to get connect-ed will use a prepaid model of pay-ment for in order to minimise losses