Panic erupts in national blackout

A power failure plunged the entire country into darkness Sunday evening sparking off panic in a population scarred by political instability.

The power failure started at about 5:30 in the evening, when many people were either relaxing at home or with friends in pubs. Flights to Kenya’s major airports in Nairobi and Mombasa were affected because runway lights went off. Because of the power failure, people had no access to news on television and radio, sparking off rumors that the power outage was an act of sabotage by hostile forces.

According to Kenya’s media, the country’s power monopoly blamed the countrywide blackout on a technical hitch in its transmission facilities. The Kenya Power & Lighting Company says it has launched internal investigations.

Kenya is in the throes of a power supply crisis that has negatively impacted on economic activities. The state-owned power distributor is inefficient while there has been slow investment in new power generation. Localized power blackouts are a fact of life for most Kenyans but nationwide outages are rare.

The last incidence of a national power blackout was in the year 2000.

2 Responses

  1. […] Read about the May 2008 national blackout >> […]

  2. Once you live in Kenya, you never forget the experience

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