Kenya power steps up measures to mitigate electrocution of birds
The move comes after a research revealed that the birds, mostly the large-bodied species, are exposed to the danger of electrocution due to the construction of new power lines as energy demand is on a rise.
The trend has been observed in Naivasha, Kinangop, Dandora, Nakuru and Magadi, where birds such as Pelicans, Owls, Flamingos, Cranes and Marabou Storks are often affected.
In a statement on Monday, Kenya Power noted that they have undertaken several initiatives to curb the crisis, including the installation of perching deterrents and re-configuration of power lines to reduce the risk of electrocution.
To prevent the death of Flamingos and Pelicans within the Lake Nakuru National park, 33kV power have been re-routed to provide enough clearance for the birds as they take off or land at the lake.
In Kinangop, the process of changing the design of a 3 kilometer power line is ongoing, to provide enough space and to enable the endangered Grey Crested African Cranes to maneuver with ease.
Additionally, reflector balls on pylon tops, pole tops and substation structures at Juja Road and Magadi Soda substations have been installed, to prevent the Marabou Storks from perching on the structures.
Further, the Company has converted the Juja Road substation into a Gas Insulated Substation (GIS) to minimize the risk of electrocution of birds within the Dandora area.
Kenya Power Managing Director Eng. Geoffrey Muli said that the company has been having continuous consultations and collaborations with other agencies regarding the retrofitting of power lines.
"The Company will partner with environmental conservation organizations and government agencies to carry out research on the impact of power lines on wildlife in order to come up with feasible and viable recommendations to minimize the impact on the environment and the utility’s infrastructure,” said Eng. Muli
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