Installation of boreholes in Kenya is on the increase, especially with the recent drought that has affected the entire country.  Even with the onset of the rains, communities in the arid and semi-arid regions have been forced to invest in the rehabilitation of boreholes that are now solar powered for water pumping for villages, and particularly in Turkana and Wajir counties in Northern Kenya.

The Turkana Pastoralists Development Organization (TUPADO) under the able stewardship of Mr. Sammy EkalAdome, was concerned with the lack of sustainable and long-term water solutions and called on Davis &Shirtliff to install solar pumps and panels, a project that took them three months.

Turkana West, where all the boreholes are located, is a vast sub-county whose water infrastructure is still very underdeveloped compared to Turkana central, east and south sub-counties.

Distances are great, and the nearest site from Lodwar is Lakore, approximately 125km away.  The Davis &ShirtliffLodwar branch was contracted to install a 3120Wp Solar Generator hybrid system that would utilize solar power during the day and electrical/diesel power at night. On completion, this project has changed the lives of the wananchi in Oropol, Lokore and Akoros.

And thanks to this initiative by Davis &Shirtliff and TUPADO the local community now has the much-needed water at their convenience. The Danish manufactured Grundfos SP 5A-25 borehole pump has a yield of 6m3 per hour.

With the globally decreasing cost of solar PV modules and recent technological advances, solar installations are becoming increasing popular for remote sites in Kenya and beyond.  This is a key business segment Davis &Shirtliff have been involved in for the past 30 years

Speaking at the launch of the second of three boreholes, Davis &Shirtliff Lodwar branch manager, Mr. Shadrack Langat said “In Lakore, the borehole is located at St. Leos Secondary School Kakuma and serves both the school and the neighboring community. The solar installation has reduced the cost of operations of these boreholes, making a saving on fuel.

These three sub-counties in Turkana share a common challenge of drought-related water challenges.  Many households and their livestock, especially in Oropoi, were disadvantaged in accessing water as previously, the only borehole that was in good working condition was installed with a hand pump, located some distance away.  Oropoi is close to the Uganda border and is located off Kakuma-Lokichoggio road, 96 kms from Akoros.

In Lokichoggio, the Akoros borehole was solarized with a 6.2kwp solar system and has a high yield of 7m3/hr.  It is managed by local water service providers. 

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Kenya Engineer is the definitive publication of Engineers in East Africa & beyond and the official journal of the Institution of Engineers of Kenya. Kenya Engineer has been in publication since 1972.

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