NEED: Boston Primary School in Kericho had experienced a spike in the cost of electricity and firewood that was used in the school kitchen. Not wishing to further burden the parents by increasing school fees to cater for the increased cost, the school management had to come up with innovative ways to manage the energy requirements.
AVENUE TO MEET NEED: The school built a mini hydroelectric power plant to supplement their supply. The electricity generated provides lighting for the classrooms. To reduce the consumpof
fuel wood the school created an energy saving cook stove (jiko).
IMPACT: Initially the school consumed firewood worth KES 20,000 but as a result of the energy saving jiko, it now spends KES 5,000 monthly a decrease of about 300%. The clean cook stove model was replicated in three other schools within the area who had observed its efficiency. Other benefits that have resulted from the adoption of this clean energy include; reduction in the air pollution from the use of firewood; the kitchen staff are less prone to respiratory illnesses, normally a result of inhaling smoke. The school children are also able to study longer in the evening since electricity is now available rather than go home early and study with paraffin lamps.
In collaboration with local community leaders, the school trained two community members who now install the clean cook stoves in households in the community thus enabling more people to adopt the initiative.
INNOVATION: The mini hydro plant combines a turbine with an alternator to produce electricity using water from the reservoir. The energy saving jiko has a mechanism that burns less firewood but produces more energy to reduce the school’s expenditure.
NETFUND EFFECT: Boston Primary School emerged first in the Primary Schools Category of the NETFUND GIA 2014. The grant accompanying the award enabled the school to upgrade the hydro power plant to produce 250 KW from a previous 150KW; this increase is attributed to expansion of the existing reservoir and infrastructure with NETFUND’s support. The school is now in the process of establishing structures for distribution of power to the community.