Kenya Power, the country’s main electricity distributor, has apologized to the Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital for a power outage that occurred earlier this week. The hospital is a critical facility that provides medical services to thousands of people in the Coastal region. The outage caused by faulty equipment and a dispute over unpaid bills between Kenya Power and the County Government of Mombasa posed a severe risk to the lives of patients who rely on electricity-powered equipment for treatment, such as renal dialysis.
According to Kenya Power, the outage happened when a line supplying power to the Coast General Hospital and its surroundings tripped. After power was restored, the hospital remained without supply due to faulty equipment that resulted from a flashover on the unit supplying electricity to the hospital. In response, Kenya Power has issued an apology and assured the hospital that measures are being taken to avoid a similar incident from happening in the future.
The power company also revealed that the dispute over unpaid bills with the County Government of Mombasa caused the outage. The county administration owed the power company Sh120 million for the supply of electricity to its main offices and Kongowea Market. The disagreement highlights a broader problem of public debt in Kenya and the need for efficient debt management and payment systems.
The County Government of Mombasa has been urged to settle the outstanding debt promptly to avoid a recurrence of power outages in critical facilities such as the Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital. Kenya Power has also emphasized the importance of regular maintenance and upgrading of its equipment to prevent flashovers and other technical faults that could lead to power outages in critical facilities.
Overall, the incident highlights the importance of reliable electricity supply in the provision of quality healthcare services and the need for efficient debt management and payment systems to avoid disruptions in essential services such as healthcare.