Nationwide blackout hits Kenya and Uganda following a fault on a high voltage transmission line.
The incident in the two east African countries occurred just before 6 am local time on Saturday 9 May.
In a statement, Kenya Power revealed the widescale outage was a result of a technical fault on the main high voltage transmission line that carries electricity to the capital city Nairobi from the Olkaria geothermal power plants.
The snapped tower conductor, near the town of Kiambu, overloaded other power generators across Kenya and brought the network down.
Around seven million Kenya Power customers were left without electricity, while the outage also impacted Kenyatta National Hospital and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Kenya and Uganda’s electricity grids are interconnected, so when the system in Kenya was overwhelmed, so too was the network in the neighbouring state.
Power was restored in phases. By the afternoon, most of Kenya was back online, apart from the coastal cities of Malindi and Lamu.
Nationwide Outage: Power Supply Restored in Most Areas— The Kenya Power & Lighting Company Plc. (@KenyaPower) May 9, 2020
We have managed to restore power supply to most parts of the country. However, the Coastal cities of Malindi and Lamu remain without electricity.
Our technical teams are making every effort to restore normalcy. ^KK pic.twitter.com/7NmsKqnClQ
Similarly, the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company also reported that power was back on for the majority of customers by Saturday afternoon.
The incident isn’t the first time that the Kenya and Uganda electricity network has experienced difficulties.
On 9 January 2018, another system fault caused a similar blackout across both countries. While only last month, Uganda experienced another nationwide power outage after weeds clogged the hydroelectric plants Nalubaale, Kiira and Bujagali, causing them to trip.