Having strapped two wind turbines to the roof and a solar panel inside our yellow Pajero named Beryl, we took to the road bound for Mfungano Island. We drove from Kisumu to Luanda K’Otieno where we took the car ferry to Mbita. From there, we loaded all the equipment onto a small wooden passenger boat.
Mfungano is a wildlife rich island on Lake Victoria with a population of around 30,000. Early settlers came to the Island from Uganda, escaping accusation of an attempt to assassinate the King. We were there to install two wind turbines and a solar panel on top of the mountain, Soklo. This will provide power for the new Ekielo Kiona community radio station and a high-speed line-of-sight internet link from Kisumu.
The youth-driven radio station will broadcast in Suba and Luo language, and facilitate community-driven programs aimed at raising health and nutrition awareness, mobilising youth activism, improving social solidarity, promoting sustainable agriculture and fishing innovation, and preserve the endangered Suba language and cultural identity. This project is part of Organic Health Response’s fantastic work on the Island.
The Island has just one road around its circumference. So we had to carry all our tools, the turbines, the solar panel and batteries all the way up the mountain – it was back breaking! But the beautiful views made up for it, and it was great to get down to work with lots of help from the local community, including Mr Ekelo, the local Mze who generously donated the land for the tower and turbines.
To find out more about this work, visit accessenergy.org