NAIROBI NEWS FEBRUARY 1920: “WHEN THE LIGHTS WENT OUT IN NAIROBI”
Nairobi’s electrical power was hydro-electric originating at the Ruiru flumes, twenty miles from Nairobi. As long as the water flowed, the generators turned and produced electricity. And sometimes, something stopped up the water, as was illustrated in Jade del Cameron’s first adventure, Mark of the Lion, when a young hippo got stuck in the flume. But water flow wasn’t the problem in February 1920. Fire was. Well, and a lot of locust followed by hundreds of hungry storks.
According to Counselor Udal, the Manager of the Nairobi Electric Light and Power Company, the grass fires along the Ruiru area had essentially herded “locusts and beetles ad-lib” into the flume, trying to escape the blaze. And that, in turn, attracted cranes and storks. Udal explained to the reporter from The Leader that it takes approximately two years to “educate the birds” that the overhead electrical wires were dangerous. But the multitude of hungry birds that came to feast on the insects were unfamiliar with the problems of flying into and landing on all the wires. Consequently, the wires broke several times over the course of three days. And birds weren’t the only animals that caused such problems. The Nairobi museum housed a “petrified frog” who “had a liking for high tension apparatus.”
NEXT WEEK: More Nairobi news
NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK. The fourth book The Leopard’s Prey, IS available in hardcover. For more information, visit the website: www.suzannearruda.com