Success stories #4 -- Alternative energy:

Lack of the traditional source of energy in the village due to shortage of tree felling and therefore shortage of firewood is one of the problems encountered by rural populations. This was as well identified at the baseline study conducted by KVDC community. Based on this the community was advised to seek alternative energies as they embark on restoration of their vegetation. AEF continued to advise on alternative sources. So far the community has work at different stages going on in five alternatives: – Biogas, solar power, wind energy, electricity, and Biodiesel as described below:

a) Biogas Plant:

Concerned about felling of trees and the scarcity of fire wood, KVDC has successfully completed a biogas plant for demonstration. From cow dug and urine, the simple plant produces methane gas for use in lighting and cooking.




Some members of the community participated fully in the construction of this Biogas plant, On the Job Training (OJT). There will be need to maintain this skill by helping the community construct another plant, preferably at the project site or at the closest household. AEF has encouraged capable individuals to replicate this innovation.

b) Solar Power:

KVDC has also demonstrated the use of Solar Power. Some individuals have already installed solar power in their homes as seen in this modest homestead. Solar power has many uses depending on capacity of the solar panel and its accessories. The majority of the villagers however do not have the capacity to put up biogas plants nor solar in their homes.



c) Wind energy:

Currently KVDC uses a generator to pump water to the site. However the resources available have not been able to sustain this approach due to increasing gas prices. The community is now exploring the use of Wind Energy and some of the villagers have been trained on the design and installation of the Wind mill; and provided with some of the materials. Timothy, a USA Peace-corps volunteer on a two year assignment to KVDC (2005-2007) had been motivating in this exercise). Currently the community seeks more materials. As soon as all the materials are available, the community, will and with little supervision, complete the installation of the Wind mill --- which will be the first in the area.

d) Electricity:

Because of the significant development milestones in village, Kilisa has been a priority area for the national rural electrification program. The national line has now been extended to supply the village shopping center. The line passes by the village project site and now the community is mobilizing resources to step down the power for the supply of the site. Once this is achieved the community will step up their adult education, introduce village based IT, establish vocational training (Carpentry, Masonry, welding, etc). Already the village is ear marked for installation of Fruit processing plant once water is on site. This plant is relevant to Kilisa a village in Kiteta location, a fruit growing area. The long term goal is to develop this project site into a Training and demonstration Center for community based initiatives.

e) Biodiesel and Biofuels:

As mentioned under Success stories -- Water harvesting, KVDC working closely with AEF is exploring into Biofuels as alternative source of energy. In this regard KVDC has intensified and diversified their nurseries to include Jatropha seedlings. Apart from providing alternative energy at village level,Jatropha farming has the potential of been a lead income-generating strategy. The community will earn from the sale of seedling and promoting Jatropha farming for Biodiesel as an alternative source of energy in Mbooni District. By current estimates an acre of Jatropha could raise the income of a household by Kshs 90,000 per year.



The introduction of Jatropha is already going on. As in the picture on the right, the front four beds of carry Jatropha seedlings. KVDC has set up this Jatropha nurseries next to the Sump to serve as a demonstration nursery and as a strategy for sensitizing the communities and visitors on Jatropha farming.

Next step:

KVDC seeks partnership in expanding this initiative. More specifically KVDC seeks material support since some villagers have been trained in the construction biogas plant while the community is prepared to provide the desired labor force.

KVDC has stepped community based education to encourage capable individuals to replicate these initiatives and especially the use of solar power.

KVDC seeks partnership for vocational training, a lead step in job creation.



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