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German impact investor to build 19 solar-powered waterkiosks in Kenya

Boreal Light GmbH, a German solar company, will construct 19 water desalination and purification plants this year across Kenyan towns grappling with water challenges.

The firm, which has already installed such plants on Pate Island in the seaside town of Lamu and Kitengela, on the outskirts of Nairobi, is now eyeing other regions with its WaterKiosks powered by solar panels.

“In 2019, we want to do 19 more projects as impact investment, on top of what we have done so far,” said Hamed Beheshti, the company co-founder and CEO. The identified regions include Turkana, Wajir, Kwale, Naivasha and Mombasa.


The solar-powered water kiosks suit dry areas, seaside areas with salty water and urban centres grappling with polluted water. Besides creating jobs among locals, the purified water is hygienic and low-cost at Sh10 per a 20-litre bottle.

“After desalination and purification, we go a step further to mineralise it,” said Dr Beheshti.
Last week, the company launched a desalination plant on Pate Island in Lamu. The project will provide clean drinking water, along with water for drip irrigation on a 2.5-acre farmland of bananas, garlic, cassava, kales and tomatoes.

The project water will equally be used at a nearby girls’ school, Pate Boarding School, to grow organic food with the help of an agronomist hired by the German company. Here, only organic fertiliser and sprays will be in use.

“Pate Island and the whole of Lamu County is suffering from salt leakage in their boreholes along with bacterial contamination. This water salinity has affected not only households and businesses but also farmers. We hope this clean fresh water project will help alleviate this pain,” said Dr Dr Beheshti.
The solar plants can be remotely monitored from Berlin, including how solar inverters are functioning, and pumps.

The Pate Island project produces 2,500 litres of water per hour. Waste water, which is extremely salty, is to be directed to toilets, killing off bacteria and wiping out stench.

Further reading

Exhibitor: Boreal Light GmbH

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