Villagers Generate Own Hydro-Electric Power, by Mwangi Mumero

Thursday, April 28, 2005

A small rural group in Meru South has shattered the myth that only giant corporates like KenGen can generate hydro electric power.
Having been repeatedly snubbed by the Kenya Power and Lighting Company in their attempt to get connected to the national grid, 150 members of Baraani Hydro-electric Self Help group have generated power from a local river and distributed it to over 36 households.
“We can now light up our houses, iron clothes, charge mobile phones and watch television programmes without worry of power failure, unlike Kenya Power and Lighting Company clients,” asserts Wilkinson Kinyua, the group’s chairman.
Their pilot project is already producing 10 KW of power for distribution to 36 members of the group.
The power is generated using a turbine installed at the roaring Owinga falls on River Baarani in Chogoria location in Mwimbi division of the district. Water is channelled through a big pipe and a concrete passageways into a turbine.
“The 20-metre high falls is currently generating enough and sustainable power for these household,” says Gilbert Kinyua, the technical adviser to the project and an electrical engineering diploma graduate from the Kiambu Institute of Technology.
Story found here.

Source: The Nation (Nairobi)