Skip to main content

Solar Powered Horticulture Cold Chain Facility in the Makueni County of Kenya.

Women from several self-help groups in Goldia Village, Bene Tsemay district meet to discuss the benefits and challenges of the SCIP energy project.

Customers using this ethical energy tariff have helped fund a community Solar Powered Horticulture Cold Chain Facility in the Makueni County of Kenya.

The benefits of this are:

  • it provides farmers with a small-scale, low-cost and sustainable energy source
  • it helps to increase income and food security
  • it gives access to reliable lighting
  • it reduces the use of kerosene lamps which have extensive health and environmental drawbacks.
‘Christian Aid believe that the provision of energy for productive use in the rural parts of Kenya will be key in fighting poverty and creating much-needed employment.’

Background

Kenya’s vision 2030 aspires for the country to become a middle-income country by 2030. Energy, as is collectively recognized, is one of the most important inputs for economic growth and human development. This is even more when it is provided mainly for productive use. Provision of energy to support the agricultural sector, which is one of the key sectors of Kenya’s economy would go a long way in support the ambitions of the country to revitalise this sector. Although over the last 3 years Kenya has seen significant attention in new electricity connections, access to energy in rural households especially those that are far off the grid will continue to be a critical challenge for the country. Additionally, most of the current focus on electricity provisioning has been towards energy for lighting, with very little attention paid towards energy for productive use even with its significant potential to reduce poverty.

Provision of energy for productive use targeting particular high value sub-sector in the rural parts of the country will go a long way in fighting poverty and creating the much-needed employment. Agriculture sub-sector for example faces numerous energy related challenges which, if addressed, would give the sector the much-needed boost. As such, providing a holistic way of rural energy access and tackling rural poverty by setting up an integrated infrastructure for energy provisioning and income generation through a low-carbon development pathway will result in money being generated, which in part goes into paying for the investment, operation and maintenance of the energy system and infrastructure

The Problem

Establishing a cold chain facility requires constant supply of significant amount of energy to guarantee its full operation. However, rural parts of Kenya, just like in other parts of Africa continent, face incredible challenges with electricity supply. By end of 2016, the proportion of rural population that had access to electricity in Kenya stood at 7% despite momentous investment in grid expansion by GoK and donors, which has doubled access to electricity since 2000[1]. Even the current expansion undertaken by GoK targets public and social institutions plus households living within a radius of 600 meters of a transformer. This still leaves many people without connection to the power.

The Project

As such, providing a holistic way of rural energy access and tackling rural poverty by setting up an integrated infrastructure for energy provisioning and income generation through a low-carbon development pathway.

Christian Aid, PO Box 100, London SE1 7RT