Karachi (Nut Desk)
As an extreme heatwave gripped Karachi, KE partnered with the Pakistan Red Crescent Society Sindh to provide a day-long “Heatwave Relief Training” to KE’s Roshni Bajis and “Mohallah Safety Champions”, encompassing education on basic first aid, heat illness, treatment of heatstroke and heat exhaustion, enabling the participants to become first responders in an emergency.
The Roshni Bajis are KE’s neighborhood safety ambassadors who have been engaging residents across Karachi’s most densely populated areas since 2021, spreading awareness on the basic principles of general safety, electrical safety, rain safety, hazards of power theft and energy conservation. The first cohort was inducted in February 2021 with 40 women, while the second cohort of 60 women began their activity in November.
Collectively, these women have been able to reach over 380,000 households across Karachi educating the public on how to use electricity safely within their homes. Faulty or makeshift wiring inside premises is a leading cause of injury and poses a grave risk to the public. Many of these incidents could have been easily prevented with proper sensitization and education of the residents. Through an innovative approach, the Roshni Bajis also identified 40 women in the areas they work to act as “Mohallah Safety Champions” who are leading the mission to inculcate a culture of safety among their peers even after the Roshni Bajis have completed their drives.
The Roshni Bajis and Mohallah Safety Champions are only one facet of a comprehensive, company-wide strategy on safety. Across Karachi, theft of electricity through kundas and illegal wires continues to endanger citizens causing injury and even death.
Between 2021 and 2022, Over 200 cases of electrocution were reported across Karachi, all occurring inside premises or due to the use of kundas which were leaking current. KE’s distribution field teams are constantly conducting kunda removal drives across Karachi. Only last week, teams operating in the Lyari and Baldia areas removed over 4,500 kilograms of kundas in a single day.
Kunda removal drives are not straightforward tasks. KE’s teams are regularly met with resistance from local residents who feel entitled to steal electricity, neglecting the risk to their personal and collective safety. Despite the challenges, the utility’s staff continues its crackdown to create safer environments enabling the provision of uninterrupted, secure, and reliable power supply. These steps are being taken to pave the way for a brighter, safer Karachi.