Kenya Exports Copper Worth Sh7B Despite Not Being a Copper-mining Country

February 1, 2024

Kenya continues to be an active crime scene with reports emerging that the country exported billions worth of copper despite not being a copper-mining nation.

Energy Principal Secretary Alex Wachira made the revelation on Wednesday following a Tuesday raid on scrap metal dealers in Nairobi’s Industrial Area.

Authorities seized approximately 12 tonnes of vandalized energy equipment, valued at Sh.15.4 million, in a warehouse following a tip-off from the public.

“Yesterday, acting on a tip-off, the energy police unit, with the Kenya Power security, KETRACO security raided one of the go-downs in Industrial Area, acting on a tip off, and were able to arrest and confiscate 11.86 tonnes of copper and associated items,” PS Wachira said.

Last year alone, we exported as a country, Sh7 billion worth of copper items from 13 licensed dealers. So the big question we are asking ourselves is, we are not a copper mining country but, we are still exporting copper worth Sh7 billion?” he posed.

Every year, the country incurs losses ranging from Sh.2 billion to Sh.2.5 billion due to vandalism, with Kenya Power and key government infrastructure bearing the brunt of the losses.

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In the last financial year, Kenya Power reported a surge of up to 46 percent in cases of transformer vandalism.

Just a month ago, the Energy Ministry carried out another raid, leading to the seizure of vandalized material valued at approximately Sh.13.4 million.

“Before we started this crackdown in May, we used to lose an average of 1 transformer a day, and we have seen a reduction of the same, but we are not yet there,” said PS Wachira.

The government issued a stern warning to scrap metal dealers;

“We are telling you, the scrap metal dealers, please avoid dealing with energy infrastructure material, specifically copper and aluminium,” PS Wachira stated.

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