Evaluation of the Sustainability of SPWSS in Kenya
The Global Solar-and-Water Initiative (GSWI), funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and led by IOM, Oxfam and NRC, seeks to promote, advocate for and mainstream the use of solar energy in WASH projects for refugee and IDP camps as well as local communities. This is with the understanding that, for most of these communities, water pumping is dependent on generators powered by fossil fuels. The high cost of fuel coupled with maintenance needs of the generators translates to high recurrent costs, which are passed on to the water consumers.
The initiative’s goal is to reduce medium and long term recurrent costs of operating water supply systems by mainstreaming the use of solar energy. It is, however, noted that various factors have contributed to the limited adoption of solar energy as a solution to water pumping. Some of these include: shortage of relevant expertise, limited information, standards and tools required to drive growth and lack of demonstration of benefits of using solar power for water supply.
GSWI commissioned this study to evaluate the sustainability of solar-powered water systems in Kenya. The evaluation was to look at existing solar schemes where different designs, approaches and uses of energy are being applied and document best practices, shortcomings, improvements and recommend models for sustainability of solar water schemes in refugee camps and communities.