As per May 2018, 75 percent of the population in Kenya had access to electricity. And according to a World bank report, access to electricity among the rural population increased from 7.17 percent in 2010 to 48.39 percent while that of the urban population grew from 58.2 percent to 77.6 percent. This means that Kenya has to go an extra mile to ensure everyone has access to electricity.
In a move aimed at bridging the rural-urban gap in regards to electricity access, OVO foundation has invested USD 1.95 Mn in an electrification project in Kenya which seeks to provide electricity to more than 300 schools and health clinics located in marginalized parts of the country.
The project unveiled its pilot program earlier in 2017 and 20 solar systems were successfully installed in Kilifi and Turkana. It currently seeks to expand in five Kenyan counties: Turkana, Kwale, Taita-Taveta, Kilifi and Isiolo.
The success of this pilot demonstrates the cost-effectiveness of delivering off-grid solar and storage on a relatively small scale in the development sector.
The project, through installing solar systems aims to connect sites that are currently off-grid or do not have access to reliable energy sources. The power will then be used for educational equipment such as tablets and computers which will help bridge the rural and urban digital divide . It will also be used for lighting in health clinics which is especially important in a country where maternal mortality is more than double the global average.
Head of OVO Foundation, Gaby Sethi did mention that the foundation seeks to benefit 300,000 people over three years. “By lighting rooms and powering equipment, we are creating a safer environment for those accessing healthcare services and helping bridge the rural/urban digital divide in education.”
Godfrey Sanga, Energy 4 Impact’s Director, East Africa said they are excited to continue supporting the OVO Foundation’s ambitions to expand energy access in Kenya.
“We owe the success of the pilot to the overwhelming support by county governments and the effective partnership with the local communities, schools, health clinics, and Sollatek, the solar equipment supplier. The benefits of a scaled-up program will extend to the poorest and most deprived people of Kenya,” added Sanga.
Electricity access has had a lot of transformative impacts to millions of people including better health services, access to improved education systems among other many benefits. It has also become a part of modern life and one cannot think of a world without it. It is indeed the most important innovation of all time and a blessing that science has given to mankind.
Featured Image Courtesy: ESI Africa.com