Solar powered irrigation for food security in arid areas

Kenya Arid and Semi Arid lands comprise of 70 percent of total country land although they host only about 20 percent of population. These arid and semi arid areas are affected with massive food shortage, water shortage and drought, with up to 5 million people affected every year. Only 5 percent have access to electricity through the national grid. While irrigation could help, diesel and petrol powered pumps are not economically feasible. Solar power pumps, which have been proved to be cost effective in such areas due to low maintenance and operation cost can help.

Read More…

8 out of 10 youths in Africa see climate change as dangerous

Youths participate in the COP 22 in Morocco in November this year. Image courtesy: African Youth Initiative on Climate Change

Youths are likely to act more about climate change in future as revealed in a recent survey by GC Consulting. Commissioned after the Marrakech COP 22, the survey revealed that many of them are willing to take action especially in the areas of recycling. Youths also recognize the important role governments, private sector, and international communities have to play in averting climate change effects.

Read More…

Jiko Power: Enhancing Rural Communication

Jiko power

Globally, there are currently 1.5 billion people who have no access to the main grid. Currently, Kenya stands at 83% on mobile penetration, but only 20% of these statistics have their households connected to the main grid. The question then becomes how possible to power these mobile gadgets? Jiko Power is trying to address this problem. ‘Jiko’ in Swahili means a cookstove, while ‘Power’ essentially connotes the electrical power derived from the heat generated from the firewood that is used in the stove.

Read More…

Arid land wonder tree spurs new economic opportunities

Kiambere Mukau

In Kenya’s semi arid regions grappling with climate change, rural communities are turning their attention to growing the drought tolerant melia volkensii (mukau) tree. This fast maturing hardwood tree dubbed the mahogany of the dry lands, has many uses, and its timber is lucrative and in demand.  A hectare of mature melia volkensii trees, can earn a farmer over Kshs3 million (USD $30,000) and harvesting can begin at 10 years in ideal weather conditions.      

Read More…

Tapping into sunshine

Futurepump Joshua bananas

There are over 500 million smallholder farmers globally, farming plots of land less than 2 ha in area. Many are struggling to make a living from farming and are looking for ways to increase productivity. Research shows that small farm productivity can be doubled by irrigation. However, many smallholder farmers struggle to irrigate their land. The solution: a sustainable method of irrigation which decouples volumes of irrigation water from volumes of gasoline or diesel fuel consumed - the SF1 solar pump from Futurepump. 

Read More…

Sustainable Ways for Affordable Housing: Prefabricated  Homes

Food, shelter and clothing are basic needs for the humankind; but, without an adequate standard of living, these core principles are hard to achieve. With less than ten percent of Africans living in decent housing in urban areas, the need for affordable, sustainable technology for housing has never been greater. Most African governments have backed the concept of prefabricated housing and realize that it is an ideal solution to close the gap of housing problems in their countries

Read More…

Croton plant offers some hope for biofuel enthusiasts

The Croton tree, which is commonly known as Mukinduri in Eastern and Central part of Kenya, is now a good known source of biofuels and that is being practiced. It grows in a challenging environment and unlike jatropha and palm, it won't bring food and fuel competition. It has no chemical additives and burns cleaner than traditional diesel fuel, with no sulfuric content. It can save our environment from carbon emissions and help in better land usage.

Read More…

Using lean data to improve the solar power sector

Many companies use traditional methods to measure the impact of solar power investments such as quoting the many dollars invested, number of people using their kits and areas covered by their product, which are inadequate tools for measuring social impact for solar power investments if we have to get it right. Traditional approaches of gathering data are not only expensive, take time to give results and complicated to use, but are also not helpful in terms of boosting solar power funding. The lean data approach proposed by Acumen could, not only bridge solar power funding gaps in developing worlds, but will also help companies to understand emerging markets.  

Read More…