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Wind pump Development in Kesses, Uasin Gishu County

By

Stephen Karekezi, John Kimani, Jared Otuke and Kennedy Muzee


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The basic components of windpumps manufactured at the Davsam Engineering Workshop include the rotor, the tail, a tower, pump rods, the transmission, the rising main, the pump and a well as a source of water. Most windpumps are usually connected to a reservoir. They are mainly used for supplying water for domestic use, watering dairy cattle and for small scale irrigation. Access to domestic water was a major problem in Kesses as the homesteads are widely spaced. This area being a hot spot for dairy farming, during the driest period of the year i.e. January, February and March, most farmers recorded poor returns on sale of milk. This was as a result of strain in water and pasture availability. These problems prompted the windpump manufacturer to come up with an affordable solution to these problems.

The main objective of this survey was to determine the status of windpump development in Kesses with specific emphasis on finance, credibility of the manufactured windpumps and challenges faced by both the manufacturer and users of the windpumps.

This survey was carried out between 26th October and 2nd November 2010 and it covered part of the greater Kesses area of the Uasin Gishu County. The survey included interviewing a local windpump manufacturer – Davsam Engineering Workshop, along Nairobi-Eldoret highway. This was followed by additional interviews with his clients. A total of eleven windpump users were interviewed. Due to time and resource constraints, the survey was restricted to Kesses area despite the fact the entrepreneur had manufactured a total of 80 windpumps which have been installed as far as Mwingi, Kang’undo, Kibwezi, Emali, Kibogo, Maralal, Kongowea, Mpeketoni and Samburu.

Majority of the users indicated that they had used their own savings to procure the windpumps with 80 per cent of them satisfied with their performance. The use of windpumps has brought several benefits to the residents of Kesses. They have had a direct impact on women as it has reduced the time spent on fetching water from rivers and manually drawing water from wells. Majority of the households used to depend on their neighbour’s wells which could be 5 kilometres (or more) away implying wastage of a day’s hour for this chore. In addition to this, drawing water from these wells was a laborious chore for the women with some being as deep as 15 metres. Poverty levels have been reduced as the windpumps have created job opportunities to the manufacturers and they support income generating activities through irrigation and watering of dairy cattle. Although not yet fully utilized, windpumps have the potential to contribute to economic sustainability through supply of domestic water to the neighbourhood thus generating income to the community. Windpumps also have the benefit of being environmentally benign.

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