The majority of the communities around Ol Pejeta are not connected to mains electricity. The vision of Ol Pejeta’s Community Energy Program is to create access to affordable, clean energy for a productive community. By thinking globally and acting locally, Ol Pejeta hopes to help communities pave the way for renewable energy all over Laikipia.
Without electricity, many people turn to unsustainable energy sources such as charcoal, kerosene and even car batteries. Ol Pejeta and partners have helped communities replace many of these with renewables such as solar power, energy-saving stoves, and biogas.
Two expansive solar systems have been installed at Mwituria Secondary and Ereri Primary Schools, to save the school money and help them ‘go green’. Over 200 solar lighting and charging systems have also been installed in surrounding households.
Biogas stations in four schools use waste from the school’s cows to fuel kitchen gas cookers. In addition, the waste also helps fertilise the school’s vegetable and lucerne gardens, which feed the students and the cattle. These biogas stations were installed as demonstrations for community households wishing to adopt similar projects, and has resulted in over 50 households installing biogas systems for domestic use.
Energy-saving stoves dramatically reduce the demand for firewood, as well as mitigating health complications that come with traditional open-fire stoves. A partnership with German NGO Die Ofenmacher has helped roll out these stoves in over 350 households, and provided employment as people learn to build and install stoves for others. So far, the stoves have resulted in a 50% reduction in firewood consumption, which in turn is helping the local landscape recover.