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Kenya Power calls for ban on copper exports to curb vandalism

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Kenya Power is urging the government to implement a total ban on copper exports in order to curb infrastructure vandalism in the country.

Speaking during a joint stakeholders’ forum by representatives from Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK), the Scrap Metal Council and scrap metal dealers, the company’s Managing Director and CEO Joseph Siror, cited a connection between local trade in waste copper and vandalism.

“Our investigations have revealed a direct link between vandalism and copper waste business. For example, between January and May 2022 when the government banned scrap metal dealing. we had zero cases of vandalism. However, immediately the moratorium was lifted, we saw a serious spike in vandalism cases,” stated Siror

He further revealed that this year alone 78 transformers worth Ksh78 million have been vandalised so far.

In 2023, a total of 365 transformers worth Ksh328 million were stolen while in 2022, 76 transformers worth Ksh68 million were vandalised.

Siror noted that the loss constitutes only the cost of installing a new transformer but if computed the cost of unserved energy, loss of business and possibly lives, the loses are in billions of Kenya shillings.

The MD additionally proposed the vetting of all stakeholders involved in the scrap metal industry, including local collectors, major scrap metal dealers, smelters, and exporters.

He also called for a more robust regulatory framework in the scrap metal trade to help weed out rogue elements who are direct beneficiaries of vandalism

“We propose that all traders dealing with scrap metal, especially copper and aluminum, must declare their sources to ensure traceability and accountability,” said Siror.

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