GivePower, an international non-profit organisation dedicated to providing clean water and power in developing regions around the world, was awarded the Energy Globe Award for its Solar Water Farm in Likoni, Kenya.
More than 2,500 projects from 180 countries competed for top honours, with GivePower winning the national award for Kenya.
Likoni is a coastal community in the Mombasa area. Though Mombasa is the country’s second largest city, many Likoni residents lack access to reliable power and fresh water. Around 47% of Likoni residents live on less than $1 per day.
Commissioned in June of 2020, the Likoni Solar Water Farm Max is the third of six solar-powered desalination plants deployed by GivePower within the last three years. Powered by solar energy and battery storage, GivePower’s desalination systems are housed in 20-foot shipping containers and each Max system can transform up to 70,000 litres of brackish or seawater into clean, healthy drinking water for up to 35,000 people every day. According to GivePower, their water farms produce a higher quality of water over a longer period with virtually no negative environmental impact compared to most ground well systems.
Globally, 2.2 billion people lack access to clean and affordable drinking water. The Likoni project remedies issues associated with local groundwater resources, which have high salinity levels in the area. Before the plant was built, Likoni residents were required to boil surface water, pay high prices for piped water or transport water from distant locations.
Michele Magee, Givepower President explained that traditional water collection methods can cause illness, come at great expense and broadly undermine quality of life, particularly for women and girls often charged with fetching water supplies. “GivePower’s Likoni Solar Water Farm extends social, health and economic benefits to all community members by providing easy access to a safe and reliably managed water source. We are honoured to see our critical work recognised by the Energy Globe Award.”
To date, the Likoni Solar Water Farm Max has distributed nearly 20 million litres of clean drinking water to the local community which, GivePower calculates, has saved residents tens of thousands of dollars in water costs while improving water quality and safety. The installation supports the local economy by providing full-time work to eight residents and supplying local distributors with water. Across Kenya, GivePower employs 24 full-time workers. Proceeds from the water sales help to support staff salaries, equipment maintenance and future projects in other communities.