News / Africa

Kenyan Farmers Going Green

As scientists and political leaders around the world grapple with the issue of climate change, many farmers are looking at technologies that rely on renewable energy for their operations.  Farmers in Kenya are now using two different irrigation pump systems that avoid the use of fossil fuels.

Farmer Edward Kinyanjui jokes that he does not have to take out an expensive gym membership to stay fit.

Kinyanjui has his own personal Stair Master-like machine, which is good for his hamstrings.  But even better, his machine serves a vital function feeding the tomatoes, spinach, zucchini, and other crops on his two-hectare farm just outside Kenya's capital.

Kinyanjui says he thinks diesel-operated pumps play havoc on farms like his.

"For one, the kind of carbon monoxide that it is going to release, it is going to pollute the air," said Kinyanjui.  "Two, as you can see, some of the things that I have around here that you have seen around the farm, they will die because of [the diesel pump] polluting the air."

Kinyanjui's irrigation pump is commonly known as a "Money Maker," produced and marketed by the social enterprise group Kick Start.

"The pump is very - what we call - environmentally sensitive, or light. It is manually-powered, so you have got the ultimate renewable energy, which is human power. There is no electricity needed, no fuel needed, it is 100 percent manual," said Kick Start's chief operating officer Ed Chan-Lizardo.

For engineer Pascal Kaumbutho, diesel-powered irrigation pumps are bad news.

"You should see the oil that is dripping down into the river, and there are people using this river downstream. You should see the amount of diesel prices that are required to keep these farms running," said Kaumbutho, who is head of the Kenya Network for Dissemination of Agricultural Technologies.

Kaumbutho is training the first group of farmers in the Mwea area of Central Kenya on how to tap into the area's biggest resource: the sun.

"Everybody knows how much sunshine there is here, all year. Here, when we are installing our solar panels, we do not even tilt them, because the sun passes over them all day,"  he added.

Kaumbutho's group has a demonstration plot on which solar panels provide energy to pump water from the Nyamindi River into a drip irrigation system.  Kaumbutho aims to sell solar panels and drip irrigation pipes to the more than 20 farmers he is training.

The two initiatives are examples of ways that farmers can cut down on fossil fuel emissions that contribute to global warming, which is a type of climate change.

Global warming, where the average temperature of the lower atmosphere increases, is caused by excess emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane.

Both agricultural engineer Pascal Kaumbutho and farmer Edward Kinyanjui have personally experienced the effects of global warming, which include droughts and floods. They say they are doing what they can to protect the environment as they sow and reap their harvests.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid