Energy Without Borders takes solar energy to orphaned students in Kenya

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Energy Without Borders has opened a 45 kW solar farm in Nyumbani Village, a sustainable eco-village in Kitui, Kenya, which provides education and a home to children orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS.
Comprised of 216 panels of 205 watts each, the farm will supply vocational training centres in this eco-village, saving on energy costs and promoting technical knowledge of clean energy, as well as benefitting more than 4,100 people.
Among these people are the100 students at the vocational training school, 1,000 children, for the most part orphans as a result of AIDS, and 100 grandmothers who all live there.
A select group of staff has been trained to manage and maintain the solar plant and ensure its sustainability. The project is funded by the enterprises SunpPower, HidroCantábrico, Iberdrola, Generalia, SmA, and Sönnesnchein Praxia.
Marta Alonso, president of the partner NGO, Friends of Nyumbani (www.amigosdenyumbani.es) highlights the ability of this project to “set an example as a model for other situations.”
Also, the project leader and engineer, Carlos Muñoz, from Energy Without Borders, emphasizes the solar plant’s capacity to adapt to the needs of Nyumbani during school hours and breaks, to optimize energy use.
The new solar plant will supply power to the vocational training school and during the 2-hour lunch break. At weekends it will be used for pumping water for the village (it produces enough power to pump 10 m3 per hour during the hours of maximum sunlight)
Overall, besides eliminating diesel pollution, the solar farm will save the local government more than 10,000 litres of diesel, which will increase the funds available for health, education and job creation services. Through this project, Energy Without Borders is promoting the use of renewable energy in remote areas inhabited by vulnerable communities.
HIV/AIDS remains a major social emergency in sub-Saharan Africa. As a result of this disease, every 40 seconds a child is left without parents. In Kenya there are 1.2 million orphans due to HIV/AIDS. Of these, 1,000,000 children are HIV positive. The NGO Nyumbani represents a united effort to remedy this situation. The eco-village maintains a self-sufficient organization to meet all its own needs: the residence itself, food and education (primary, secondary, and vocational training) for one thousand children plus a hundred or so grandmothers who look after them, health and teaching personnel and also the complex’s services.