Friday, July 25, 2014

Ngarua Maarifa Centre connected to solar Energy

By Samuel Nzioka

Ngarua Maarifa Center has been running on grid electricity to power computers and other machines until last week when it was connected to Solar energy. Recurring power blackout prompted the action by ALIN to install Solar energy so as to provide uninterrupted services to community members. The journey has not been so easy as the power blackouts have been interrupting smooth running of the Maarifa Center and slowing many activities including response to urgent matters.

It took the technical team three days to complete the installations, a job  that could have taken them at most five hours. This was caused by power blackouts during the week. Mr. Kibe, the Alins technician said that, its dangerous when power is on and off oftenly as it can damage equipment's connected to it. He however advised people using electronic machines like computers to install power guards or battery backups so as to prevent further losses.

Solar power inverter and Storage batteries 
The recurring power failure has cost the economy in Sipili township lots of money as many business men/women especially the photocopy, printing, welding, Maize millers and timber yards remain out of business when the power goes out as they solely depend on power for their daily incomes.

Some community members have applauded the bold move by ALIN to embrace renewable energy option quoting that, it will serve as a good example to other people who want to remain in business and reduce the operating costs for their business enterprises. Samuel Njogu, a businessman operating a stationery visited the Maarifa center when he was strolling after power blackout and on finding the Maarifa center power on, he was interested to know where our source is.

"I'm amazed by the idea and I want to be the first stationery shop in Sipili using renewable energy so that I can provide uninterrupted services to my customers. This will also cushion me against losses I make during power blackouts." said Samuel.

Samuel provides all office services including printing, photocopy, lamination and also runs an ICT training school.

Regular Maarifa center users also embraced the idea and affirmed that, it will go further to help them access services better.

"Continued services will allow me to attend my needs promptly as opposed to when the center used to solely depend on grid electricity. I have applied for several jobs forwarded to me by my friends away and have been able to hit the deadlines even when there is power blackout." said Peter Nderitu, Egerton  University psychologist graduate.

Youth Enjoying services at the Maarifa center
Mr. James Mwangi, a Mathematics and Computer science student at Jomo Kenyatta University Of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) has been able to accomplish many tasks due to uninterrupted power supply at the Maarifa center.

"I have been able to log in to my schools' student portal and respond to urgent matters that could have costed me if not attended to. This has been possible through continued services at the Maarifa Center. I have also been able to get timely farming information as I am also doing farming to raise my school fees and pocket money for the next semester."

James also wants to be a good example as he is successfully doing farming despite weather challenges faced by many farmers in Laikipia county. Read; Youth farmer not deterred by water scarcity. 



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