[Field Report]After Project Ends,
Kenya’s Enkutoto District Begins to Operate Independently

In 2018, we began a new project in an off-grid area in Kenya’s Enkutoto District, which is located in the nation’s southern county of Narok. In addition to providing aid to bring light and electricity from renewable energy sources to the area, this project also created opportunities for education and health through a local support program provided by World Vision, an international NGO that worked with us as a partner organization. In September 2021, the project entered its third year. Although some activities could not be accomplished due to the effects of COVID-19, the project was broadly completed on schedule, resulting in certain achievements.
But is the community sustaining its operations in line with our original goals?
In October 2022, one year after the project ended, we returned to the area to follow up on the current state of the community.

Power poles have been erected and electric wires have been extended into off-grid areas, and new businesses have begun to emerge

Naturally, there are no power poles or electric wires to carry electricity in off-grid areas. If you go from the center of the city to the countryside, there will be no power poles or electric wires beyond that point, and you will get a real sense of the fact that there is no electricity going into this area. The Enkutoto district is also off-grid, so of course there were no power poles or electric wires to be found there. However, we developed a plan to take the surplus electricity from the small photovoltaic and energy storage system (PSS: power supply station) that we donated to an elementary school and sell that electricity to a nearby market. As a result, we succeeded in erecting power poles and extending electric wires from the elementary school to the market. Beginning in September of this year, the Enkutoto district was finally reborn as an electrified area. This area only covers a distance of about 100 meters. However, for the community, 100 meters is something they could only have dreamed of in the past.

Electric wires extending from the local primary school’s PSS and power poles

In the local marketplace, new businesses are starting to emerge due to the introduction of electricity. At the local barbershop, electric hair clippers have been introduced, and electrification has allowed the shop to create a phone-charging service. This has also created a business where the shop sets up a television and allows customers to watch football games for a fee. Shops are now able to open early in the morning before sunrise or at night, extending their hours of operation. The expansion of these services has improved the living environment for villagers, and the marketplace has also led to increased income from new businesses. In addition, by selling electricity to the marketplace, the district will be able to recuperate maintenance costs for the donated PSS. This is the realization of a business model that truly benefits everyone involved.

Use of electric hair clippers
A business where customers pay to watch football on TV has started

The government has begun supporting an electrified health center with electrical equipment

In the Enkutoto district, in addition to an elementary school, we also donated a power supply station to a nearby clinic.
After receiving electricity, the clinic set up cold storage for vaccines, and this led to the vaccination of many villagers. Despite the impact of COVID-19, the number of vaccinated villagers increased by about 2.4 times in 2022 compared to 2020.
The electrification of the clinic and its numerous medical achievements have also prompted the government to start supporting the clinic with electrical equipment. The clinic has also received support in the form of a refrigerator and electric devices that can sterilize tweezers and scalpels used in medical care, leading to further improvements in services for patients. In fact, the number of women giving birth at night has increased by about 4.2 times since 2020, and the number of patients receiving care at night has exploded from 64 patients in 2018 to 3,092 in 2022. When asked about this, the nurse in charge of the clinic laughed and jokingly responded, saying he couldn’t get a good night’s rest because he was so busy dealing with patients throughout the evening.

A nurse providing an explanation while pointing to data. The refrigerator in the background was supplied by the government.

District manager confident of future growth

An engineer managing the district’s power supply stations is confident that life in the community will see even more improvements through the use of electricity. “I think there are still many more ways for us to make effective use of electricity,” he said. He was one of the people that we trained when the project started so that the power supply stations could be maintained exclusively by villagers.
The district manager also said, “Electricity has helped us connect all sorts of things.” They have people gathering in places where there is electricity and light, and people are connecting with each other. Electricity has also led to new businesses, and it has given people the means to study at night, further improving academic performance in the area. This has created a virtuous cycle that is much appreciated by the district manager. He showed confidence in his belief that the community could grow even bigger if they all worked together.

The village manager showing confidence in the future growth of his community

Local activities supported by staff for the international NGO, World Vision

An essential part of the community’s ability to operate independently is the presence of World Vision, an international NGO that worked with us as a partner organization to implement support programs locally. Their staff members live near communities that are far from convenient to live in, deeply embed themselves within communities, and work with villagers to develop their own communities. Without an NGO like this, our project could not have been successful.
We would like to offer them our sincere gratitude for working with us on this project.

Members of World Vision, a locally active international NGO that worked with us as a partner organization

We visited the site a year after the project ended, and we were able to confirm that the community is starting to independently sustain its operations and that the entire community is beginning to make every possible effort for the sake of its future.
The virtuous cycle that we were aiming to achieve has taken place and is about to swell to even larger proportions.
We would like to continue to support the realization of an inclusive society where everyone in this district can live a vibrant life.

[Related Sites]

The website for the international NGO, World Vision

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