SunCulture to distribute solar-powered water pumps across Africa

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

Kenyan start-up SunCulture has announced plans to disseminate solar-powered water pumps in seven African countries. This is after the company carried out a financial mobilisation raised US $14m for the development.

The company which provides solar water pumps for irrigation received the funding from Energy Access Ventures (EAV), Electricité de France (EDF), Acumen Capital Partners (ACP) and Dream Project Incubators (DPI).  SunCulture was advised in this transaction by London-based Ekta Partners and received advisory support (market opportunity and competitive landscape) from CrossBoundary, a company providing solar energy to commercial and industrial (C&I) customers in Africa.

With this capital, SunCulture plans to distribute its solar water pumps for irrigation in Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia, Senegal, Togo and Ivory Coast. They will be used by farmers who will have the opportunity to multiply their income.

Read: 209 manual water pumps rehabilitated in Ivory Coast

Instability of electricity grid

According to the company which was founded in 2013, in Africa, 80% of families depend on agriculture for their livelihood, but only 4% use irrigation due to the instability of the electricity grid. On top of this comes drought, one of the consequences of climate change.

The water pumps are equipped with 300 W solar panels and a 440 Wh battery storage system. These batteries can hold four light bulbs, two telephones and a plug-in submersible water pump.

To own the solar-powered water pump, each farmer will have to pay between US $500 and US $1,000, compared to US $5,000 when the first systems were launched in the seedling. They will be able to acquire this equipment thanks to pay-as-you-go; a system facilitated by mobile banking.