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Power returns to most of Kenya after a 14-hour outage, longest in recent memory, shuts down airport

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NAIROBI, Aug 26 (AP): Electricity was being restored in most parts of Kenya on Saturday, 14 hours
after the longest outage in recent memory, the majority government-owned power distributor said.
There was still no clear explanation for the outage that hit on Friday night, shutting down the
country’s main international airport, affecting major hospitals and even the president’s office
“I am really sorry for what has happened,” Transport Minister Kipchumba Murkomen said in a
statement close to midnight.
“There is no excuse worth reporting and there is no reason why our airport is in darkness.”
Kenya Power later on Saturday said it had restored service in most areas.
The outage came just weeks before Kenya’s government hosts the first Africa Climate Summit,
where energy will be key on the agenda.
Kenya gets almost all its energy from renewable sources, but infrastructure and alleged
mismanagement remain an issue in the country of more than 50 million people.
Kenya Power had announced in a brief statement that a “system disturbance" led to the loss of the
bulk power supply to parts of the country just before 10 pm Friday.
Shortly after midnight, it reported that power had been restored to the Mt. Kenya region, a longtime
political stronghold, and added that initial reports indicated a fault in a generation plant.
Around 3 am, Kenya Power said electricity was back up at the international airport in the capital,
Nairobi, and other “critical areas” in the capital region.
However, three of Nairobi’s largest hospitals as well as the State House, the site of President William
Ruto’s office, told The Associated Press earlier Saturday they were still using generators.
The power outage had lasted for about 14 hours in what Kenyans called the longest blackout in
memory. Calls to Kenya Power’s communications department did not go through.
Tourism is an important part of Kenya’s economy, and stranded travellers quickly posted images on
social media of the darkened airport.
The Kenya Airports Authority said a generator serving the main terminal had failed to start after the
national power outage.
Meanwhile, Kenyans already coping with rising costs of living woke up to find food spoiling and some
backup power options running out.
The most recent national power outage was in May. (AP)

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The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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