Monday, November 7, 2016

Kenya: Menengai Geothermal Project Delivers Drinking Water to Locals

Geothermal energy can curb Africa’s energy shortage and more (AfDB)

Lucy Wanjiru, aged 65, no longer has to walk over long distances to fetch water for domestic use, thanks to the Menengai Geothermal Development Project in Kenya’s Rift Valley, some 180 kilometres northwest of the capital, Nairobi. The project is co-financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Kenya Government and other partners.

Wanjiru, who has resided in the area since 1980, says community members would walk for 12 kilometres in search of clean water. “We used to travel far to get water. Our children, especially girls, would even miss school as they had to allocate that time to look for water,” she said.

But not anymore. As part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme, the Geothermal Development Company (GDC), which is implementing the project, has set up 10 giant boreholes, one of which is dedicated to the community. Water from the borehole is pumped into a four million-litre tank, and distributed to neighbouring households through a water kiosk. About 3,000 families and a school are benefiting from the water; livestock too. “We can now drink clean water, wash our clothes, and provide water for our animals. I now walk less than a kilometre to the water point,” said Tabitha Karimi, a community member.

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