The illegal, dangerous, unreliable electrical system that everyone supports

Kibera’s skyline is spiked with the infrastructure of its many illegal electrical hookups. Photo by Jason Patinkin

It’s been a rough month for Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), Kenya’s sole distributor of electricity. Constant power outages during the rainy season brought thousands of customer complaints. An attempt by KPLC to raise fees was blocked by Kenya’s deputy president, and a Kenyan parliamentarian, citing KPLC underperformance, motioned to break up the company’s monopoly. If that wasn’t enough, a blackout last week plunged most of the country into darkness, shutting down much of East Africa’s biggest economy.

But in Kibera, Kenya’s largest slum, the blackout and weeks of outages were business as usual.  Read more…

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