Monday, April 28, 2008

Electric Lullabye

Mondays are challenging. Much more so when Tanesco decides to treat us to an unannouced, unscheduled power-cut, as it has today. Kwa Michael Cheney where I work and live, these interruptions have become endemic in the past few months. Our neighbor has an automatic generator so whenever the power goes our you can tell by the jumbo-jet rumble that emanates from their garden. I guess they need it to drive the electric fencing at the top of their wall, but it does IMHO point them out to potential thieves. Many a night I have been lured to sleep by the endless electric lullabye, drowning out the drone of mosquitoes in the hot still air.

The Tanesco customer service people can be hard to get hold of, but when you do get them they tend to assure you that the problem has been identified, and is being dealt with as you speak: "Power will be back in another half-hour Madam. Yes, we understand that you called an hour ago but I assure you that the transformer is being fixed right this minute. Power will be back right now. Thanks for calling."

Word on the Street: Apparently, Kwa Micheal Cheney is a prime spot for people who steal transformer oil. Athumani, my regular taxi guy, says that a litre of pure transformer oil can be sold for 20 million shillings or more. The oil us used as an industrial lubricant. At that price, there is little incentive for Tanesco workers themselves not to facilitate the 'accidental' loss of a few litres every day.


  1. Dick Cheney's African roots. Heh.
    Currently, I could with 20M. Just 1 litre, eh?

  2. Just one litre. Consider the possibilities...


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