Kenya’s power generation company has blamed a monkey for causing a three-hour nationwide blackout.
In a statement late Tuesday, Kenya Electricity Generation Company said a monkey that clambered up the roof of the Gitaru Power Station in central Kenya and fell onto a transformer tripped the power.
Many parts of the country were cut off power supply on Tuesday, June 7 After the monkey’s fall, the company said. Other machines in the station were caused to trip, and this led to the loss of 180MW from the plant.
The blackout lasted more about four hours before the power was restored, and business operators were forced to install standby generators in Central Business District of the capital city and other parts as well.
Backing the security at the place, the company said that its facility is secured with an electric fence, and it was an isolated incident. But the mischievous monkey was said to have tampered with it.
Gitaru hydrostation has a capacity of 225 megawatts (MW) and it is located at the border of Embu and Machakos counties. It is operated by power producer KenGen and it is part of the Seven Forks Hydro stations on Tana River.
The station is the largest in East Africa.
“At 11.30am, a loss of generation at Gitaru hydro station resulted into a major power outage that affected other sources of electricity. Efforts to restore normal supply are ongoing, ” Kenya Power said in a statement.
The Monkey was captured and handed back to Kenya Wildlife Serivice. According to Kenya Power, electricity has been restored in West Kenya, North and South Rift as well as Nairobi South. Kenya Power update on twitter:
“There is ongoing restoration work for parts of Nairobi, Mt. Kenya and Coast. We will keep you posted as the restoration work progresses. Thank you for your patience, ”
Similar incident occurred in 2012 leaving nearly all the country in darkness, after a transformer at one of the turbines blew up.
Kenya ultilizes a combination of geothermal energy, hydro power, wind and thermal energy for power supply. Thermal power comes first at 35.7 per cent, while Hydro power provides the second largest share (35.1 per cent) of Kenya’s total power capacity of 2,333 MW. Geothermal energy is third at 26.8 per cent.
Others are Masinga power station (40 MW), Kamburu (94 MW), Gitaru (225 MW), Kindaruma (72 MW) and Kiambere (168 MW).