First Turbine Shipment for LTWP arrives in Mombasa Port

First Turbine Shipment for LTWP arrives in Mombasa Port

The first shipment of Vestas turbines for the 310 megawatt (MW) Lake Turkana Wind Power project has arrived in the Port of Mombasa.

The turbines are the first of 365 which will be transported by road approximately 1200 km to the wind farm site located in Sarima village in Loiyangalani Division in Marsabit County.

The firm targets to inject the first 90 MW of wind power into the national grid by September this year. When operating at full capacity, Lake Turkana Wind Power is expected to add 310 megawatts of clean energy into Kenya’s grid,enough to power more than two million households.

Phylip Leferink, Lake Turkana Wind Power General Manager, said; “The foundations for the first 30 turbines are ready, as soon as the turbines arrive in Sarima; the task at hand will be to hoist the turbines. For once we will be working against the winds that we intend to harness, but as soon as the turbines are up we are another step closer to producing power.

The completion of the 207 KM all weather road from Laisamis to Sarima village will highly reduce the risk of any delays in transit and we are optimistic that by the end of March, all the offloaded turbines while be on site ready for hoisting”,he explained.

The Marsabit based wind firm which has a 20-year contract to sell electricity at Ksh8.6 per kilowatt/hour (kWh), sits on 40,000 acres of land in an area that receives steady winds throughout the year.

The power will be evacuated and transmitted to the national grid via a double circuit 400kV, 428km transmission line that is currently being constructed by Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (Ketraco)

Currently, Kenya relies heavily on renewables such as geothermal and hydro power, aims to expand installed capacity to about 6,700 MW by 2017, up from 1,700 MW in 2013.

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ENHANCING EMPLOYABILITY

 

This pillar focuses on access to education and development of skills for the labor market. In 2015, WoC provided books and pens to 18 primary schools. WOC also distributed 500 desks to 23 primary in South Horr, Arge, Mercy, Namarei, El Molo bay and other parts of Laisamis constituency.

 

WoC has identified the extension of Sarima School, the construction of facilities at Nyiro boys and Nyiro Girls School as key focus areas for the education pillar in 2016. WoC will also continue to support the provision of teaching materials to local primary schools.

 

WoC is in discussions with the Marsabit South Technical Institute to determine the nature and type of investments it can make to support development of vocational skills in Laisamis. This is expected to boost tertiary education as well as enhance future employability in the area. This project will be launched during the operational phase of the wind farm.

 

WoC is also planning to set up a scholarship fund for secondary and vocational education in the area.

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ENHANCING ACCESS TO HEALTH

 

The expansive but sparsely populated project area, coupled with years of under-investment in the sector has resulted in limited access to health services by the local communities. WoC support to health focusses on enhancing access to health services by upgrading physical infrastructure and during operation of the windfarm, partnering with stakeholders to support targeted outreach programs.

 

WoC has supported the improvement of health facilities at Burri-Aramia dispensary (solar lighting, vaccine freezer, shelving for medical supplies and furniture including examination ward and delivery beds and patient toilets among other items.)

 

WoC has also contracted a local organization – Community Empowerment Development Initiative Marsabit (CEDIM) to undertake HIV/AIDS sensitization campaigns. CEDIM has trained 17 Community Health Workers (CHWs) and attached them to existing government run health facilities to sensitize and educate the local population on matters around HIV/AIDS. In2015, WoC carried out a three-month HIV/AIDS awareness and testing campaign in around the wind farm site.

 

In future, WoC plans to support Marsabit County in the upgrading of facilities at Laisamis health centre and other health centres in the area.

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PROVIDING WATER

 

Due to the arid nature of Marsabit, water is a scarce commodity. LTWP has spearheaded the rehabilitation of several water boreholes and water supply points. The water points that have been rehabilitated include; Arge, Laga el fereji, Namarei, Kutider-Korr, Gatab III and El Molo.

 

WoC has installed a solar driven reverse osmosis system in Sarima village. In addition, WoC has built watering troughs in different parts of the constituency, to ease provision of water to livestock. There were no reported livestock deaths due to droughts in 2015 following construction of watering troughs in the dry season grazing area around Gatab.

 

WoC has also installed solar driven pumps to rehabilitated boreholes that had pump problems. On completion of the LTWP’s construction phase, 11 boreholes will be handed over to the community.

 

In 2016 WoC plans to build a 100,000 litre storage tank at Gatab III to ensure that there is adequate supply of water to the community and their livestock during periods of drought. WoC will also lay a 7-km water pipeline in Arge, to bring potable water to two villages of over 3,000 people in Arge.

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OTHER COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

 

WoC has rolled out a road safety campaign along the recently upgraded C77 public road between Laisamis and Sarima. CEDIM is the local partner implementing this activity, and they have already recruited and trained 12 people from centers and villages along the Laisamis-Sarima road to act as road safety educators.

 

In support of peaceful and secure communities, WoC has built accommodation for the Administration Police and extended the existing Police office in Loiyangalani.

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