4 companies launch East Africa’s biggest water desalination project


Communities without a reliable clean water supply are set to benefit from a project that will utilise solar technology to desalinate water.

This follows the launch, by four companies, of East Africa’s biggest decentralized water desalination project which is estimated to cost Ksh 435 million (4 million Euros) has been led.

The four companies German energy Solutions Company Boreal Light GmbH (G) and Atmosfaire gGmbH (G) have partnered with local companies WaterKiosk® Ltd (K) and Bilal Sustainable Development Programme to construct 40 solar water desalination systems in 10 counties in Kenya and three cities in Tanzania- Arusha, Tanga, and Dodoma.

This partnership is aimed at providing water for communities suffering from endemic water shortage in the target areas.

The desalination systems will deliver a total of one million litres of clean drinking water per day. They will be installed in Wajir, Mombasa, Naivasha, Garissa, Turkana, Machakos, Makueni, Kajiado, Marsabit, Narok, Mandera, Kwale and Taita Taveta Counties.

Permanent employment positions

While delivery of hygienic drinking water remains the main focus of the project, some of the selective solar WaterKiosk® will have fish farms, vertical farm and sanitation centres.

The project will support over 20 fish farms and 100 acres of irrigated land.

Upon completion, the project is estimated to create over 100 permanent employment positions for kiosk operators and will lead to enormous carbon savings of over 10,560 tonnes per year for the entire project.

Atmosfaire GmbH, the main financier of the project, will sell the carbon credits created from the use of these solar water desalination systems.

Each of the WaterKiosk® projects offsets 264 tonnes of CO2 per year, making it a total of 10,560 tonnes per year for the entire project.

Speaking during the launch of the project in Nairobi, Dr Hamed Beheshti, CEO and Founder Boreal Light GmbH said this was the single biggest decentralized solar water desalination project in East Africa.

“This project will be a game-changer in deploying sustainable technology solutions in water provision for disadvantaged communities not only in Kenya but in the rest of the region,” Dr Hamed said.

Sustainability, social and legal aspects

He added that Boreal Light GmbH and its African subsidiary WaterKiosk® Ltd were both committed to the supply of quality water at an affordable cost to the poorest of poor, noting that

WaterKiosk® Ltd will install and operate the systems across Kenya while preparing for expansion to Tanzania as the second East African country hosting the projects.

The projects will be financed by Atmosfaire gGmbH, and manufactured by Boreal Light GmbH in Berlin, Germany.

Bilal Sustainable Development Programme will audit the entire project on behalf of the investor, making sure that sustainability, social and legal aspects of the project are well met.

Using solar technology solutions, WaterKiosk® Kenya has successfully installed solar-powered water desalination plants in several parts of Kenya including Pate Island, Kitengela, Burani, Wasini, Mtongwe and Wajir.

The projects have had a big impact in addressing the perpetual water shortages in these areas and has drastically reduced the prevalence of water-borne diseases like cholera and bilharzia in these regions.

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