Kenya Electricity has increased its efforts to prevent birds from being electrocuted by power lines in order to maintain the country’s natural heritage.
The decision follows a study that found that birds, particularly large-bodied species, are at risk of electrocution as a result of the building of additional power lines as energy consumption rises.
Birds such as Pelicans, Owls, Flamingos, Cranes, and Marabou Storks have been seen in Naivasha, Kinangop, Dandora, Nakuru, and Magadi, where the trend has been noticed.
Kenya Power said in a statement on Monday that it had taken numerous steps to address the situation, including installing perching deterrents and re-configuring power lines to lessen the risk of electrocution.
To avoid the deaths of Flamingos and Pelicans in the Lake Nakuru National Park, 33kV power has been re-routed to allow ample clearance for the birds when they take off or land.
In Kinangop, work is underway to alter the design of a three-kilometer power line to provide enough space for endangered Grey Crested African Cranes to fly freely.
Reflector balls have also been installed on pylon tops, pole tops, and substation structures at the Juja Road and Magadi Soda substations to keep Marabou Storks from perching on the facilities.
In addition, the Juja Road substation has been upgraded to a Gas Insulated Substation (GIS) to reduce the risk of electrocution of birds in the Dandora region.
Eng. Geoffrey Muli, Kenya Power’s Managing Director, said the business has been in constant conversations and engagements with other agencies on power line retrofitting.
“The Company will conduct research on the impact of power lines on wildlife in collaboration with environmental conservation organizations and government agencies in order to develop feasible and viable recommendations to minimize the impact on the environment and the utility’s infrastructure,” said Eng. Muli.