M-PESA Foundation installs solar-powered water pump in Kwale County

M-PESA Foundation installs Sh 15m solar-powered water pump in Kwale County

M-PESA Foundation, in partnership with Kwale County Government commissioned the solarization of Nyalani water pump project in Kwale County and also installed solar powered farm lights at a total cost of Sh 15 million.

Nyalani Dam was built in 1952 by the British Colonial government. It a water storage capacity of approximately 500 million litres (0.5 million m3). In 2014, the Kenya Red Cross with funding from M-PESA Foundation and in partnership with the County government rehabilitated the dam, and implemented an integrated disaster risk reduction project.

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Aim of rehabilitating the dam

The main aim of rehabilitating the dam was to attain a water storage capacity of approximately 1 million cubic meters (m3) which would address various needs of the community. The M-Pesa Foundation contributed Sh 231 million while the County Government of Kwale contributed a total of Sh 25million towards the rehabilitation of the Dam.

According to farm Kenya, the project had contributed to reduced vulnerability to drought for 2,500 direct and 10,000 indirect beneficiaries in Kwale County by the year 2015. After rehabilitation, one of the major problems that the residents faced was: unreliable electricity. The frequent and long-lasting power outages hindered the distribution of water to the farms. The Electricity bills were also high.

Predominantly semi-arid

The installation of the solar power project is expected to resolve these challenges for hundreds of farmers cultivating through irrigation. The commissioning was graced by Les Baillie, the Executive Director, Mpesa Foundation and H.E Salim Mvurya, the Governor, Kwale County

Kwale is predominantly semi-arid and experiences persistent water shortage. Households in Kwale walk long distances to fetch water for domestic and economic uses. The County has a total of 71,090 households, of which 35% have access to piped water and 58% have access to portable water. The average distance to the nearest water point is 1.25 Km. In the County, an estimated 35% take between 30 minutes and 1 hour to fetch water while about 24.8% take more than one hour to fetch water.