Drama flared up on Tuesday june 30th as Lamu Woman Representative Ruweida Mohamed clashed with a Rural Electrification Authority (REA) official after Pate and Faza Island suffered a power blackout.
At least 3,000 households had been affected by the two-week blackout in the area following a breakdown of the old diesel generators.
Following a video circulating online on Tuesday, June 30, angry residents accompanied Ruweida to the REA offices with most of them throwing caution to the wind on Covid-19 prevention guidelines.
The officials were blamed official of engaging in politics and claimed that he had previously insulted the woman rep on social media.
“He is being controlled like a puppet, on social media, his screenshots are all over, he told me we would have the lights back.
“He is always on social media talking about politics of Lamu East, he should vie for the governorship,” noted Ruweida.
The official explained that the area is not being served by the National grid but an off-grid station, adding that once a machine is received it has to be tested hence would not give a timeline for power reconnection.
Further, the officials urged the Woman Representative not to level accusations against him of being involved in the politics of Lamu County.
Sharrif Stambouli a resident of the area noted that they will camp outside the REA offices until they get power back.
“We are camped here because of laziness from power officials, they promised to reconnect power after an outage for a month or so.
“We are still waiting and they have told us they have taken a break to go sleep but we have vowed to stay put until power is back,” stated Stabouli.
A statement by Kenya Power on Tuesday, June 30 revealed that installation of a new 500-kVa Off-Grid Diesel Powered Generating station has been installed.
The National government’s rural electrification programme will see Pate Island connected to the national grid through an 8 kilometre two-prong undersea cable of 33 KV with inbuilt fibre from mainland Kenya Navy Base in Kililana area to Mtangawanda area.
It is expected that the undersea cable will cost an estimated Sh.500 million, with design work already done and prospective external contractors identified to lay the cable that will connect Faza/Pate to the national grid.
The Ministry of Energy expects to fund the project in the 2020/2021 financial year.
“We have assurances by the national government that Lamu East should be fully connected to the national grid by 2022, as this will help expand access to previously marginalised areas such as Faza has the potential to be a key cog in driving the country’s blue economy agenda as a major fish trading post,” Shariff stated.