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Kenya: Power outage forces closure of EPZ firms

Published date:
Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Business at the country's largest AGOA garment exporter in Athi River came to standstill yesterday after a major two-day power blackout hit the area.

The more than 20 garment exporters were yesterday grappling on what action to take after Kenya Power and Lighting Company failed to explain the anomally in both Athi River and Kitengela.

The General Manager of Newwide Garments Exporters, Rudolf Isinga, said he was forced to close business after it emerged that KPLC had failed to provide power.

Isinga said he attempted to contact local KPLC manager, Lango Vaya, but that he could not pick his calls. We also attempted to gethim but he could not pick our calls.

Four large metal power poles went down between Syokimau and Mlolongo and by yesterday evening no work had been done on them.

Isinga said his company operates three factories and employs more than 5000 Kenyans whose jobs hang in the balance owing to multiple power outages at the EPZA in Athi River.

"Although we have back-up generators, we cannot use them in all the factories because it will affect our profit margins in a big way. How can we compete with countries like Indonasia and Malaysia if this is what we are going to get from Kenya power?", asked Isinga.

The blackout affected the whole area of Athi River and Kitengela where five major cement Producing companies are based. The Kenya Revenue Authority offices at the EPZA closed down the entire day because of lack of power.

Most of the garment exporters to AGOA are up in arms with the KPLC's action not to restore power.

“ Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

Click here to view a sector profile of Kenya's bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.

Other regularly updated trade statistics on include: (click each link to view)

  • AGOA-Beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.

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