Boda Boda rider electrocuted in Bungoma
Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) has explained the ‘unfortunate’ incident in which a man was electrocuted in Bungoma County.
The electricity firm says Felix Kiplangat was washing his motorbike at a roadside pool that had come into contact with an electric cable which fell had fallen after a pole was knocked by a truck.
“Our team from the Bungoma office immediately went to the site and alerted the police of the incident,” the statement read in part.
Police moved the body of the deceased to Bungoma District Hospital Mortuary.
According to the lighting company, the police have commenced investigations into this incident.
“The Company will work closely with them(police) to ensure that this matter is brought to its rightful conclusion,” the statement further read.
Kiplangat’s death adds to the number of people who have been electrocuted in the last three years.
Kenya Power manager for Safety, Health and Environment, John Guda revealed that 345 people have been electrocuted across the country in the last three years.
He attributed 74 percent of the electrocutions to unsafe public practices, including illegal connections, poor wiring, vandalism and way leave encroachments while 26 percent of the deaths were caused by negligence and non-compliant standards of Kenya Power and contractors.
“In the 2018/2019 fiscal year 104 deaths were recorded while 148 people were electrocuted in 2019/2020. In the current financial year 93 people have lost their lives so far,” said Guda.
According to Guda, the numbers were concerning, adding that there is a need for a sensitization campaign on best practices and safety precautions around the subject.
He further noted that KPLC in conjunction with the Interior Ministry has so far conducted 13 county sensitization forums to enlighten Kenyans on electrical safety.
The numbers portray a worrying trend considering that very few cases of electrocution are always reported in the country.
In March, the power company was ordered to pay a schoolboy in Meru Sh15.7 million as damages for injuries suffered after being electrocuted while herding cattle.
Justice Francis Gikonyo ordered the power utility firm to pay the student code-named in court papers DA a sum of Sh15,729,500 as damages for pain, suffering, and loss of amenities, medical expenses incurred, doctor’s fees, and future medical expenses.
Evidence in court indicated that the student touched a live electric wire after tripping and falling while grazing cattle at Kilemi/Kautine, Antubetwe Location in Igembe North District in October 2015. The wire was lying loosely on the ground.
The boy, who was 16 years at the time of the accident, was forced to drop out of school.
The victim was admitted at Maua Methodist hospital for four months and his arm was amputated due to severe burns.
He said a prosthesis costing Sh8 million was recommended for him to help him conduct his daily activities. Also, maintenance of the prosthesis is estimated to cost Sh1 million.
Kenya Power submitted that it was not clear where the incident occurred, and the plaintiff was negligent in failing to ensure his own safety.
The company stated that the student should be held 100 percent liable. In disputing liability, it submitted that the plaintiff failed to discharge his “burden of proof” in respect of the electric wires loosely hanging.