Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New wind energy for Nguruman Maarifa centre

Nguruman Maarifa centre runs running on solar energy to power computers since its establishment way back in 2005. The journey has not been so easy since whenever there was less sunshine, then power put put from solar energy was low inhibiting smooth operations of the centre. In 2010, a power back-up generator was bought to address the power needs of the centre that also offered communities social entertainment and opportunity to follow the world cup games that were held in south Africa.

Community members recognized the efforts put in place by ALIN to ensure there is continued access to information and that no community member would visit the centre and go unattended to.

"We have been keen to ensure that no community member goes without accessing information by reporting the challenges on time. We thank ALIN and the technical team for ensuring that all our requests are addressed..." said Mr. kasifu, the advisory committee chairman.

ALIN technical team kept in touch with the staff on the ground to follow up on progress while they engaged other professionals for a permanent solution to the problem. A visit by Focus Energy technical staff gave a sign of relief to the ALIN field team. Focus Energy Solutions is a company that installs and distributes renewable energy souces like wind and solar to commmunities.

"When I saw the wind power technician, I saw it as the best option to address power issues once and for all ..." said Kelvin Koinet, in charge of ICT training.

The wind turbine is meant to boost the solar system during cloudy days when there is usually a lot of wind. The new source of energy is integrated to the existing solar energy giving a solar-wind hybrid system with more energy output. The system came amidst campaigns by different stakeholders and lobby groups to persuade community members to embrace renewable energy technologies and help mitigate climate change.

Focus Energy technitian assembling wind turbine.  photo by Lucky Martins
News on the wind power system spread widely and Community members came in large numbers to see the technology which is new to the area with majority visiting the site on Sunday.

"We are amazed by the technology and thank ALIN for bringing it closer to us.. I have only been hearing that wind can generate power but I haven't seen the system..." said one old man on site.

Community members could not hide their joy as they praised the initiative taken by ALIN to ensure that, they get continued quality Maarifa centre services.

"I am now happy that, I will not be using a generator during training since it's not reliable, economical and is noisy thus affecting concentration by my students... it also runs on petrol and pollutes the air!... Thanks to ALIN for the action taken..." said Kelvin Koinet amid a broad smile..

"We are happy to have the system on site since it will be easy for us to show the community how they can tap the renewable energy opportunities within their reach... we are also glad to have continued power supply since this will enable us access information at all times and tap the power to our offices nearby... Thanks to ALIN for the initiative..." said Mr. Mathu, Agricultural environment officer.

"I feel motivated to use the facility to my maximum... I appreciate efforts that ALIN has put in place to address the power issue..." Said Emmanuel Chichi, a student and a regular Maarifa centre user.

Installed wind turbine at the Maarifa centre compound. Photo by Samuel Nzioka
As part of awareness creation to communities on renewable energy resources,  the Nguruman Maarifa centre demonstrates use of solar and biogas systems by communities, the additional wind energy resource is a boost to the many options available that can be used in remote areas. The centre plans  to start demonstrations on affordable solar lanterns as an alternative lighting system for communities.

Nguruman maarifa centre in collaboration with Africa Solar Designs a company that promotes low cost solar lelectric systems will elect one community member to be trained on renewable energy sources  later this month at masai mara. This will be in bid with ALIN's concern for community involvement in community development projects and also capacity building the community members on maintenance and repair so they can be able to tackle technical challenges accompaning the technologies.