Funded by: Marshall Foundation in January 2014
Narok Town is the last major town when traveling by road from Nairobi to Maasai Mara National Park and Keekorok Lodge. Narok stands as a center for services, business, and finance for the whole region. For decades, Narok's economy was controlled by Asian and non-Maasai communities. It is a semi-arid region where the majority Masaai population are traditionally nomadic pastoralists. The area is off-grid and neither the school nor the homes have electricity. Reliance on the grazing of livestock renders the community vulnerable to climate changes.
Kakamega county is in Western Kenya, on the border to Uganda. The provincial capital, Kakamega Town, is small, but the region has a very high population density and is second only to Nairobi in terms of population size. The equator runs through the green landscape, and it has an average elevation above sea level of 1,535 m. The population lives on agriculture, and are subsistence farmers. The average income is low, but relatively steady since the land is very fertile, and there are many growing seasons. The main source of light is kerosene, sometimes replaced by firewood/candles. 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 40%, due to the long transportation. The lack of access to light is quoted by the parents and teachers as one of the biggest hindrances in student performance and it’s very hard to study at home, so they study only at school during the day.
Photo Credit: Private for GIVEWATTS