UN-Habitat launched the construction of a Multifunctional Clean Energy Centre at St. Christine Community School Centre in Kibera Kenya. The project which is funded by DANIDA and UN-Habitat, is a joint initiative by the local community, Under the Same Sky project, and Umande Trust in partnership with VE International (Denmark). It is the first of a series of Multifunctional Clean Energy Centres that UN-Habitat plans to construct in other Sub-Saharan African cities.
The proposed 3-floor facility has been designed taking into account bio-climatic and energy efficiency considerations. It will constitute the following spaces: toilets and bathrooms, a solar charging facility, computer room, a classroom as well as a community hall. The project seeks to improve access to basic urban services to the community, offering a multi-purpose facility which combines improved sanitation (public toilets and bathrooms), clean cooking fuel and lighting. The toilets will be used by the school of about 415 pupils and the surrounding community.
This facility has been designed as an income generating tool for the school. The local community will be able to have access to the public toilets and bathrooms at a fee. The biogas produced will replace firewood and charcoal which the school currently buys at a high price. This will greatly reduce its expenditure associated with meal preparation. Some of the electricity generated by the solar photovoltaic panels will be used for lighting the building and also at the solar charging facility for recharging of solar lanterns and mobiles phones at an affordable fee.
The biogas generated in the digester, that forms part of the sanitation system, will be used at the school’s kitchen to prepare meals for the children. The liquid fertilizer, an end product of the biogas system, will be used at the school’s garden. A total of 150 solar lanterns, 50 of which have been donated by Philips East Africa, shall be rented out to the school’s parents and the surrounding community to ensure clean, bright and affordable lighting is accessible to replace kerosene lamps thereby enabling children to read at night. In addition, the facility will include a water tank where water will be stored for use at the school and some of it will be sold to the community at an affordable rate.
Present at the launch were Vincent Kitio UN-Habitat representative, Mr. Richard Juma Chief of Mugumoini Location-Kibera District, Charles Ochieng’ Manager of St. Christine Community School Centre and Josiah Omotto Managing Trustee of Umande Trust, among others.