Project Status

Project Type:  Solar Pump

Program: Wells for Kenya

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase: 
Community Managed
Implementing Partner Monitoring Data Unavailable
Initial Installation: Jan 2012

Project Features

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Community Profile

This information was provided by our partner IcFEM

Karima Health Centre, Mbakalo

Mbakalo is an area with Trans-Nzoia county which borders Ndivisi, Soysambu, Mautuma, Naitiri and Kabuyefwe. Mbakalo is a beautiful high area of Western Kenya. It is hilly with small streams as well as the Nzoia river which creates a boundary between Mbakalo and Mautuma. There are no large towns in Mbakalo though you can find small shops selling basic items and on a Monday the market allows traders and villagers to sell and buy produce such as livestock, vegetables, fruit and clothes. There is another market each Tuesday at a nearby village named Lungu.

Mbakalo has no major industry or employers, most people survive as subsistence farmers. The people of Mbakalo mostly farm maize and beans which is the staple food of Kenya. There is a dairy cooperative in Mbakalo which provides a service for dairy farmers. There are primary and secondary schools in Mbakalo as well as a polytechnic and a teachers training college, and Karima Health Centre is one of two health centres in the local area.

The population of Mbakalo has grown considerably as people have moved into the area seeking employment and land for farming and living. Education is still developing in the area as IcFEM helps local people understand the benefits of education. Many people have held farming as being more important than education often keeping young people at home to help though these attitudes are changing. However, as with many other areas it is principally the women and children that are responsible for collecting water for cooking, drinking and domestic use.

A few households have their own hand-dug shallow wells, but the main water source currently used by the village communities around Karima Health Centre is a spring, with people travelling over 3km to collect water. However, high rates of typhoid and other water-related diseases back up community perceptions that the spring’s water is not clean. Furthermore, access to the spring is particularly difficult during rainy season and many less agile community members fall on muddy inclines along the swampy ground around the spring when walking with heavy water cans. Two local residents, Eunice and Rose, met with IcFEM staff member Sarah to show her the spring and talk about their perceptions of how the project will affect them. They said that they currently make 3 trips per day to the spring which even then doesn’t provide enough water for their households, but that the 3 journeys is as much as they can physically manage. Along with many of their neighbours they can’t wait for the project to begin work!

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Project Photos

Project Type

Solar water systems use energy from the sun to power a low-maintenance submersible (underground) electric pump. The solar-powered pump is ideal for pulling water from an already-existing source without the input of human energy and for transporting it to a more convenient location. The pump collects water in tanks to serve a larger population. When the user is ready to access the water, all they have to do is visit a public kiosk and turn on the tap!


2 individual donors
Light of the Valley
Connecting Point
Pro-Link Global
BCC Ecology Club
First Congregational Church
Beulah Baptist Church of Dekalb
Kings Park Senior High School
Yakima Foursquare Church
Southwest Chicago Christian School
Ed & Joy's Fundraising Page
Rick Barrera's Fundraising Page
UArts Water Bake Sale Fundraising Page
Wayne's Water World Fundraising Page

...and 4 other fundraising pages