Welcome to KETRACO Website

Sunday 25 October, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs - Use of rights of way

  1. What uses are permitted and prohibited on a right of way?

    Most gardens, parking lots, driveways and recreation areas are allowed, while buildings, pools and other uses that interfere with operation and maintenance of the power line are prohibited. See our rights of way section for detailed information, and please send in an application to ensure your proposed use complies with easement restrictions and the National Electric Safety Code.

  2. What type of authorization do I need to use a right of way?

    You will need to apply for an encroachment agreement. This is an agreement that outlines the specific rights and limitations to use the land. The applicant, if other than the fee owner, must get permission from the owner to use the land. Please fill out and return our right-of-way application.

  3. Can I put a fence across the right-of-way?

FAQs - Underground Construction

  1. Are underground transmission lines feasible as an alternative to overhead transmission lines?

    Although it is common to bury electric distribution lines that serve individual customers, it is rare to bury transmission lines. The per-mile construction cost is typically 5 to 10 times more than overhead lines and lifespan is generally about half as long. Reliability is also a concern. Typically, it would take at least a week to restore power in the event of an underground cable failure. KETRACO does evaluate the feasibility of underground transmission on a case-by-case basis. In addition, we help fund research into making underground transmission a viable option.

  2. Would burying the line reduce exposure to electric and magnetic fields (EMF)?

    The earth blocks exposure to electric fields. Magnetic fields pass through the earth and most other materials. Because a buried line would be closer to ground level than an overhead line, magnetic field exposure from a buried line could be higher. However, conductors are placed closer together when a line is underground. This results in some cancellation of the magnetic field so the net effect is usually about the same.

FAQs - Trees in rights of way

  1. Why does KETRACO prune trees?

    KETRACO prunes trees and removes dangerous trees along our easements to maintain a safe and reliable flow of electricity to our customers. Trees are one of the major reasons for power interruptions. We must constantly patrol easements, and remove and prune trees to avoid preventable outages.

  2. Is KETRACO responsible for clean-up after pruning trees?

    KETRACO will make every effort to clean up brush in landscaped areas, but we do not clean up large pieces of wood. Wood is cut into manageable sizes and left on the property. Limbs and brush cut in unmaintained areas will likely be chopped up with mowers or left to decay on the easement.

  3. Who should I call if I see a tree that could cause a problem with a power line?

    Please call the KETRACO at 254 20 4956000. We send certified professionals to inspect the condition of trees and other vegetation.

  4. What are danger trees?

    “Danger trees” is jargon for trees that are unsafe from an electric utility perspective. It generally refers to trees or branches along the edge of an easement that might contact lines, causing outages, or otherwise damage electric equipment. They include trees that are dead, weak, diseased or leaning toward the line.

FAQs - Substations

  1. If a ball or other object accidently lands in a fenced substation, what do I do?

    Do not enter the substation under any circumstance. Call KETRACO on 254 20 4956000 and explain the situation.

  2. What should I do if I see or hear any abnormal activities within the substation area, such as damage, theft, fire, fallen trees, children, loud noises, pets, animals, etc.?

    Do not enter the substation under any circumstance. Call KETRACO on 254 20 4956000 and explain the situation.

FAQs - Rights of Way

  1. What rights do utility crews have to come on my property?

    Our ingress and egress rights are provided for in easements.  We have the right to enter and maintain our facilities in the easement, and this applies to our personnel and our contractors.

  2. How tall can vegetation be in an easement?

    We do not allow any vegetation that will reach a mature height of over 15 feet on our easements. We do not wait for the vegetation to grow that tall before removing it. We remove it when it’s identified.

  3. How can I identify a power pole or tower?

    Look up. We attach numbers to the top of our structures and poles. This helps us when we are using aircraft to patrol our lines and we can also see the numbers from long distances when patrolling on the ground. The numbers mark the sequence of structures along a line which is named for the substations at the beginning and end. Our maintenance staff can help identify a line when an address is provided.

FAQs - The Environment and Power line and substation construction

  1. How does KETRACO determine when new facilities are necessary?

  2. How are decisions made about where to route a new transmission line?

    We are required to first look at major corridors, such as existing utility lines, roads, and railroads before considering other areas. Then we work with affected communities to balance the consideration of several factors, including engineering, environment, current and future land use, community input, and electrical needs of the system. The routes that are considered in any transmission line project are shared with the public for their comments and input. Our goal is to minimize impacts to the overall community and environment.

  3. What types of environmental sensitivities do you consider in evaluating routes?

    We gather information on wetlands, woodlands, agricultural lands, threatened and endangered species habitat, floodplains, historical, cultural and archaeological resources, state natural areas, lakes and rivers, and national and state wildlife areas, parks, wilderness areas, scenic rivers and forests. We also gather information on community characteristics and sensitive locations such as land use plans, residential areas, schools, hospitals, cemeteries, airports and flight paths, and private conservation areas.

    We identify these areas in the early stages of route evaluation and later provide a detailed characterization of the routes we formally propose in our construction application. The information above is a summary, not an exhaustive list, of data we analyze.

  4. Why can’t you avoid all environmentally sensitive areas?

    Unlike locating a power plant or factory that has a defined footprint in a single location, transmission line siting requires development of routes over many miles, and avoiding environmentally sensitive areas entirely is not always possible. We must put together route segments across different areas in a way that balances the cost of construction with other impacts and makes sense from an overall perspective. A desirable route is one that balances environmental factors with other considerations, such as engineering, community and landowner input.

  5. What efforts do you make to work with environmental organizations on a project?

    Early in a project, our environmental staff will collaborate with regulatory agencies, landowners, communities and other stakeholders who may be affected by our projects to understand possible concerns. We believe the involvement of a diverse group early on results in a more thoughtful and acceptable project that has consideration for environmental avoidance and protection. We meet with conservation and advocacy organizations to establish relationships, discuss concerns, and incorporate input in the route selection process. We maintain communications during the regulatory review stage to address concerns and develop site-specific mitigation efforts.

  6. How do you identify the impacts of construction on natural resources?

  7. How do you mitigate the effects of construction?

    Generally, we examine options for designing the transmission line in a way that can reduce impacts, such as using a narrower right-of- way or shorter poles. Concerns are typically site-specific. The design criteria can vary slightly depending on whether the concern is for right-of-way width (for example in a residential area) or pole height (for example near an airport.  We reach out to environmental organizations early to identify concerns, avoid them if possible, and mitigate impacts when necessary.

  8. What process does KETRACO use to minimize and mitigate environmental impacts?

    Avoiding or minimizing impacts is a high priority during routing, siting and construction. We develop plans to avoid or mitigate impacts and submit them for approval to various regulatory agencies including National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).

  9. What restoration work do you do following construction?

    Construction activities may temporarily impact local landscapes, but we inspect lands after construction to assure proper restoration. Tall-growing trees and other vegetation may need to be removed so that they don’t interfere with the safe operation of the transmission lines.

FAQs - Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF)

  1. Are EMFs harmful to farm animals and wildlife?

    There is no evidence that long-term exposure to power frequency EMFs causes harmful health effects in animals. Transmission line easements are commonly used for pastureland, national parks and reserves.

  2. Will a transmission line interfere with television and radio reception?

    Power lines do not interfere with televisions and radios because they operate at a different frequency. However, rare interference can occur when hardware associated with any power line becomes loose or damaged. This can be repaired.

FAQs - Acquiring Property and Easements

  1. How does KETRACO buy property or acquire an easement?

    KETRACO contacts property owners for permission to survey the property. During the survey, it may be necessary for KETRACO to trim or cut trees to establish a line of sight or to take soil borings to determine subsurface characteristics. Survey information is critical to establishing boundaries and ensuring that pertinent property information is obtained. Afterwards, we obtain an appraisal to assess the fair market value of the property or easement needed. We negotiate with property owners for purchases and easements.

  2. Why do utilities have the right to acquire private property rights?

    The constitutional right to acquire private property for a public purpose is known as compulsory acquisition. Compulsory acquisition exists to protect communities' rights to reliable services, such as electricity, natural gas, and water. Compulsory acquisition prevents any property owner or group of owners from denying an entire community adequate service. It also guarantees property owners a legal right to fair compensation. Compulsory acquisition is used only as a last resort. Currently, more than 96 percent of KETRACO's property transactions are completed without being heard in court.

  3. What is an easement?

    An easement is when a land owner retains ownership of his property, but conveys limited rights to the easement holder for specific uses. When KETRACO obtains an easement, we do so for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a transmission line. We purchase property for most substations, rather than obtaining easement rights.

FAQs - About the Company

  1. What is Kenya Electricity Transmission Co. Ltd.?

    Kenya Electricity Transmission Co. Ltd. was established to develop new high voltage electricity transmission infrastructure that will form the backbone of the National Transmission Grid, in line with Kenya Vision 2030. Its core business is to plan, design, build and maintain new electricity transmission lines and associated substations. These new lines will include 132kV, 220kV, 400kV and 500kV High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC).

  2. When was the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (KETRACO) established?

    Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (KETRACO) was incorporated on 2nd December 2008 and registered under the Companies Act, Cap 486 pursuant to Sessional paper No. 4 of 2004 on Energy.

  3. Who owns Kenya Electricity Transmission Co. Ltd.?

    KETRACO is 100% Government owned and being a state corporation, it is regulated under the State Corporations Act, Cap 446.

FAQs - During Public Barazas

  1. What effects will the transmission line have on us, taking into account that this area is prone to flooding?

    Geotechnical information/data will be collected from specific areas along the line to enable engineers to design appropriately; ensuring that communities living in flood prone areas are not affected by electricity, in case of accidents.

  2. Will valuation take care of the daily income I get from palm trees?

    All compensation will include a 15% social disturbance allowance, which should cushion the owner from adverse economic loss; however, KETRACO expects all trees which will be pulled down to be re planted in parts of the land that is not affected.

  3. What conclusive evidence will I have to show that unskilled labour will be sourced from within?

    We will confirm from the chiefs’ offices the names of people employed from within; although KETRACO totally depends on the local administration through the chiefs and the village elders. But we assure you that unskilled labour will not be transported from afar.

  4. Who will be paid in polygamous family set ups which have not actualised transfers?

    Local Administration will be involved in complicated cases: but if the land owner is deceased, family should have legal documents of administration, although KETRACO prefers that family members agree as a family on how payment will be made.  Chiefs and village elders will act as arbitrators and witness.

  5. Will compensation take care of inflation rate?

    Yes, current inflation rate. Compensation normally is value of the property at the present; not before or later.

  6. Are there chances that high voltage transmission line will pre-dispose the community to diseases like cancer?

    Scientific studies have shown that radiation effect is almost at zero point after the 40 meter width corridor; that is why we urge all those who will be affected to move away from the 40 meter width corridor to ensure safety. No conclusive study has linked radiation with cancer; but to ensure safety, it is not wise to live under the transmission line.

  7. If I die within the payment process, who will be paid?

    Your next of kin will be paid.

  8. How will I be compensated for young plants which I expected to use later?

    Each plant will be compensated dependent on the current value of the plant: young plants cannot be paid as mature plants. You could use the compensation monies to buy seedlings and plant new plants for later use.

  9. How will the community benefit from the project?

    KETRACO has not developed a comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility policy; however, it is at the stage of developing one. Once this is developed, we will ensure benefits form parts of project packages.

  10. Will I be paid for graves?

    KETRACO will endeavour to avoid exhuming graves as much as possible, because the distance between pylons can be redesigned at the construction phase; therefore KETRACO will not pay for graves. In cases where the line just passes airborne and there is no erection of pylons, we will not interfere with the graves at all.

  11. If I had planned to build a house, should I continue?

    Owner of the parcel affected should sign. Owner includes ancestral ownership, transfer ownership or ownership by buying.

  12. Demarcated land and un-demarcated land, will payment for compensation be different?

    No, but difference will occur in amount of land taken by the transmission line.

  13. As a Kenyan who knows his rights, what would happen if I refuse?

    You don't have absolute rights; the government still has some rights which can be invoked.

  14. Can other people interested from neighbouring villages be accommodated for un skilled labour?

    Yes, but only if the villages affected unskilled labour force has been exhausted and there is more work to accommodate others.

  15. Will my title still be valid once easement rights are included in it?

    Yes, in fact titles with easement rights are more valued due to security issues.

  16. In cases where the land is registered under a group ranch name, who will be paid?

    The group ranch will be paid.

  17. Will I be paid for the trees and plants already uprooted in the 10 meter clearance exercise on going?

    Yes, that is why you should not uproot the tree stamps left in your farms; those will act as evidence during valuation exercise.

  18. Is it lease or easement?

    It is easement; sometimes called right of way

  19. Why do you want consent before final survey?

    It is only through consent that we can freely enter your farms to do actual final survey; otherwise it can be considered trespass.

  20. Will those affected be relocated?

    No, only interested in the right of way which is 30 metres wide; 15 meters from the centre of the line on both sides. We will not purchase land, but each situation will be handled on its own merit.

  21. Who will be paid for those who will be affected?

    There will be three categories of payment; for owners of structures, for owners of crops and trees damaged and for owners of land where right of way will be required.

  22. Will the payment cheques be written in our names?

    Yes, if you are owners of structures, crops and tress or land; but KETRACO will use authenticated documents/ tittle deeds for land.

  23. Who will be paid in polygamous family set ups which have not actualised the land transfers?

    Local Administration will be involved in complicated cases: but if the land owner is deceased, the family should have legal documents of administration, although KETRACO prefers that family members agree as a family on how payment will be made. Chiefs and village elders will act as arbitrators and witness.

  24. How much will Project Affected Persons (PAPs) be paid before they move?

    70% of the total amount will be paid before a PAP moves, and another 30% upon movement out of the way leave.

  25. Will the youth who have own structures be paid?

    Yes, all owners of structures will be paid; youth, widows, single households heads and even male heads.

  26. Must compensation be paid through the chief’s offices?

    For validity and to avoid legal issues, yes, because the chief knows his people well, but everything will be transparent, and we will engage all PAPS to verify owners of structures, land and crops.

  27. Why can’t we be paid compensation before the contractor moves through our plots?

    To enable the whole process to be actualized, we have to start by you signing the consent agreement, which will allow us to value your structures, plots and crops. This then paves way for compensation based on valuation. Otherwise, how would we know what to pay if you don't sign the way leave consent?

  28. How will KETRACO handle land which is already subdivided, but without transfer documents?

    KETRACO would want to urge all who have started the process of transfers to ensure they conclude the process as fast as possible. For those who have not started the process to do so, since land will be paid on production of a valid document.

  29. What will be the mode of payment, cash or cheque?

    Cheque will be preferred for security reasons, but for small crop damages, cash may be used. Other cases which involve older Project Affected Persons (PAPs) will be handled differently, depending on the agreements with family members.

  30. If one is relocated, where will the person relocate to?

    KETRACO is only interested in the right of way, we will not purchase land, but each situation will be handled on its own merit.

  31. Will widows be paid compensation instead of sons?

    All owners of structures will be paid; youth, widows, single households heads and male heads.

  32. Will I be paid if I plant crops after construction?

    Compensation for crops will be continuous, during construction and even maintenance, but we would prefer to give you time to harvest food crops rather than pay for crops.

  33. How much will we be paid?

    Rates will be adopted on government rates for valuation of structures and crops, but land rates will be customised/ localised to depict the current market value of the area.

  34. How will the Valuers know what to pay me?

    Valuation is a profession, and KETRACO has qualified Valuers with experience of more than 10 years. They will use their valuation skills to determine what to pay.

  35. Will I be paid if the tower is erected on my land?

    Land will be paid, all included in the right of way payment. No money will be paid for towers, but the owner of land with many towers erected is definitely more disturbed, so this will be decided at the valuation stage.

  36. Can we be involved in the project?

    Yes, that's why we are consulting you as you are stakeholders.

  37. Can we also be given electricity?

    The lines we are erecting are high voltage lines, but eventually it will boost the distribution lines in the general area.

  38. Can we be paid an advance to enable us secure our succession problems?

    There is no provision for advance payment in our procedures.

  39. Will KETRACO pay for electricity and water costs for homesteads with these facilities?

    All the costs of these facilities will be valued with the structures, not in isolation.

  40. Are you really government agents?

    Yes, we are a parastatal within the Ministry of Energy, and that is why we have to pass through the provincial administration office in all locations before we meet the people.