Reasons:Why Small Orange Balls Are Fixed on Electricity Lines

Electricity lines in some specific parts of the country have small orange balls attached to them at uniform intervals.

Although they seem like decorative features to power lines, the small orange balls are strategically attached to help aircrafts.

In the aviation field, they are referred to as visibility marker balls.

Kenya Power places marker balls near mountain passes, such as in the Mount Kenya region, and deep valleys, like in the Rift Valley Region.

They are also strategically fixed on power lines on major highways, near airports and all locations where aircraft fly at low altitudes.

The bright-coloured visibility balls indicate where power lines are so that low-flying aircraft can avoid them.

According to experts, the diameter of marker balls can range from 20 inches to 36 inches. The most used colour is orange, but red, yellow and even white marker balls are used in some countries.

In Kenya, the orange balls are associated with some myths, including weighing down the power lines to avoid wild wind movement.

Others presume the orange balls have weather sensors and surveillance systems but are fixed for the navigation of planes.

In other countries like the US, coloured balls are mandatory on lines crossing canyons, lakes, rivers, and surrounding airports.

Besides fixing the visibility markers, the Kenya Aviation Authority prescribes building guidelines for areas near airports such as Syokimau, Lang’ata and Nyayo estate for the safety of planes.

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