It is an all too familiar story for a majority of Kenyans; whenever it rains, power outages usually follow.
So common is the ‘phenomenon’ that Kenyans have come up with a popular joke that the country’s electricity distributor, Kenya Power, unhangs its power lines to stop them from being rained on.
So, what exactly is the relationship between rain and power outages?
Kenya Power has finally come out to explain what causes power outages when it rains.
“The rainy season is here with us again and whilst it’s usually a blessing, rains do sometime cause a few inconveniences e.g. power outages which some of our customers jokingly refer to as “kuanua stima”,” Kenya Power observed.
According to the power distributor, rains are mostly accompanied by strong winds and as the storms rage, they sometimes snap tree branches or uproot whole trees causing them to fall on power lines disrupting power supply.
“In other instances, wet tree branches touching power lines create a ‘pathway’ for electric charge to flow between power conductors and the ground leading to a short circuit which in turn causes an outage,” added Kenya Power.
As a result, Kenya Power urged Kenyans to avoid planting trees below or very near power lines and to allow its personnel to prune them.
“Importantly, customers should never cut or trim trees near or in contact with power lines to avoid electrocution.”