Solar Borehole Pumps to cut Water Costs in Lodwar

Three solar borehole pumps are set for installation in Lodwar as an alternative to the costly electronic system that limited supply. Lodwar Water and Sanitation Company has partnered with Davis and Shirtliff and Japan International Cooperation Agency in the initiative. The Sh16 million project is expected to lower the cost of water supply by 33 per cent and stabilize it. Residents have been paying Sh33 per cubic metre of water, Lowasco spending Sh45 to supply the same amount. The company’s cost is expected to reduce to Sh30.”Supplying water to Lodwar had been costly due to the large amount of electricity used in pumping water from the boreholes.

“We wanted to keep the tariffs low so we found solutions to lower our costs to under Sh33 per cubic metre to at least break even,” Lowasco managing director John Esekon said in a statement on Tuesday. The boreholes will pump water using solar energy by day and switch over to electric pumping by night. This was informed by Meteorological department reports that the desert town receives about 9.6 hours of sunshine, higher than most towns. Davis and Shirtliff installed 94 solar panels on one borehole and 144 solar panels on the others. Each is to pump between 125 and 250 cubic metres of water a day. “Each pumping system is fitted with a tracking system so that we can keep tabs on the performance of the solar hybrid pumping systems,” said Davis and Shirtliff’s senior project technician Anthony Karunguru.

The company undertook similar installations in Wajir, Isiolo, Machakos and Moyale counties Ref: http://allafrica.com/stories/201502031847.html

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