UN Opens 1st Zero Emission Community Power Centre in Rural Kenya
8 July 2008 – The first power-generating centre using environmentally friendly hydro and solar power has been inaugurated in a Kenyan village 150 kilometres north east of Nairobi by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
Apart from generating electricity, the new centre, in Kibai village in Kenya’s Kerugoya division, promotes the use of Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps to replace kerosene lamps that contribute to respiratory illnesses in children and women who use them on a daily basis.
Kibai villagers have begun using the centre for phone and lamp charging as well as accessing the internet, a rare phenomenon in rural Kenya, where only 10 per cent of the population has electricity.
UNIDO is calling on communities without access to electricity to submit proposals for similar initiatives in Kenya for consideration by international donors.
The project is part of the “Lighting Up Kenya” programme led by UNIDO and other UN agencies with the objective of eliminating kerosene from home lighting, and using electricity for income generation.