Developing a GIS-Based Utility Management System for Kenya Power and Lighting Company Ltd.

The area of study was Gituamba area which is in Ruai ward.  The area was selected because it was undergoing development and KPLC had identified a market need for electricity supply in the area. KPLC has had major challenges in utility management especially handling spatial data. Most of the map data like electricity maps are stored in analogue form which becomes challenging when planning for power distribution or dealing with power blackouts when they occur.

The data used in the study was electricity and topographic maps, attribute data for KPLC customer connection assets and administrative boundaries data. The methodology involved data preparation by scanning, georeferencing then creating a geodatabase.  Map data was digitized to create shape files. The mainstream technology used in the study was GIS and utilized ArcGIS extensions to create a geodatabase and perform analysis like network and proximity analysis.  A Geodatabase approach to utility management was therefore proposed because of the need to handle spatial temporal data with high precision. The geodatabase created allowed for querying of the system to view data.  The analysis performed guided decisions like finding the most suitable way of distributing power to a customer or finding the best route to direct maintenance teams to areas with blackouts.  Buffering was also done to clip data on customers who can be served by a particular transformer.

The finding of the study is that a GIS based solution is a requirement in utility industry like KPLC given that utility industries experience changes frequently. Geodatabases also help in data storage, retrieval, updating and analysis of data which informs major decisions in utility industry.

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