Crowdfunded in Dec 2019 & November 2020
Bungoma County is home to an estimated 1.7 million people and sits on an area of 2,069 km². Bungoma is the 3rd populous County after Nairobi and Kakamega. It borders three Counties: Kakamega on the South, Trans Nzoia on the North, and Busia on the West. It also enjoys a vast shared international border with Uganda. The county’s economic strength is agriculture: sugarcane, tobacco, coffee, onions, vegetables, sunflower, and dairy cattle, while maize in Tongeren and Naitiri also make the county a vital part of the region’s breadbasket.
Busia County is the gateway to Kenya from neighboring Uganda, with two border crossing points at Busia and Malaba towns. The main economic activity is trade with neighboring Uganda, with Busia town - the county headquarters and largest town being a cross-border center. Away from town, the county economy is heavily reliant on fishing and agriculture, with cassava, millet, sweet potatoes, beans, and maize being the principal cash crops. The county has a total population of 743,946 and has recently shown a lot of economic potentials, with agribusiness, real estate, and commercial businesses booming the most. The main source of light is kerosene. For cooking the households almost exclusively use charcoal and firewood (hence a high rate of deforestation in the area). The price of kerosene is higher than in Nairobi by about 30%, due to the long transportation.
Trans Nzoia County lies on the western side of Mount Elgon in the former Rift Valley province, some 380 km northwest of Nairobi. Most of the communities living in Trans Nzoia today are a mixture of large scale and small scale farmers, with maize farming being the dominating industry. They also practice dairy and horticultural farming. Other communities work or engage in business and trade in various urban centers. Situated in the slopes of the mountain, Trans Nzoia has a cool and temperate climate with average annual temperatures ranging between a minimum of 10°C to a maximum of 27°C. The county receives annual precipitation ranging between 1000 and 1200mm, with the wettest months being experienced between April and October.
In these areas, there is potential to maximize on the distribution of clean energy products owing to the fact that most families in the rural areas rely on fossil fuel for lighting, while firewood is the most common cooking fuel in most households. With this project, the aim is to increase understanding of the benefits of clean and affordable energy and to get schoolchildren to study with better light at night.
In November 2020, an additional 200 solar lamps were crowdfunded for distribution in these areas.
Photo Credit: Private for GIVEWATTS