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CRA ASSESSES GEOTHERMAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE RIFT VALLEY

CRA delegation outside KenGen Olkaria offices

A delegation from CRA visited Nakuru and Baringo counties in September, 2017 to assess geothermal development in the rift valley, explore modalities of collaboration, exchange ideas geared towards sustainable natural resources development, assess community benefits from geothermal projects and how geothermal development companies relate with communities.

The CRA delegation visited the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) offices where they met with Mr. Peketsa Mangi, KenGen Resource Development Manager. He informed the team that currently 65% of Kenya’s energy sources is from green sources and it is postulated that by the year 2025 it will account for 78%. KenGen plans to expand and create an industrial park, carry out a carbon asset development and develop a fully run geothermal spa.

He also informed the team that KenGen has a good working relationship with the local Eburru community and provide scholarships, internships, jobs and have built a water harvesting system where steam is condensed and then stored in a tank. The community manages this water system though the Eburru stakeholders committee. KenGen also provides raw water from Lake Naivasha to the community for other uses.

Eburru Community School, built by KenGen for the Eburru Community.

                          Eburru Community School, built by KenGen for the Eburru Community.

The delegation also paid a courtesy call to the Geothermal Development Corporation (GDC) where they were welcomed by Grace Mwai, Manager Community Relations. GDC gave a presentation on status of Menengai and Baringo-Silali geothermal project. For the Menengai project, the steam gathering system is 80% complete and production is expected in 2018.

Work at Baringo –Silali project commenced with GDC opening up the area with roads for ease of access. Water supply for the project to be used for drilling and supply to the neighboring community in progress. The water will be drawn from Lake Baringo, treated and piped to Paka and Silali areas.

GDC team guided CRA team to tour Menengai and Paka Geothermal prospect where community coexistence with the project was witnessed. GDC is operating a direct use center and plans to have an industrial park in Menengai. They showcased a heat exchange, green house, milk pasteurizer, fish farming and laundry machine that used energy from the steam.

The team noted that as a way forward, there is a need to work with stakeholders to ensure that a benefit-sharing criteria is developed for both project developers and communities which will reduce conflict and ensure that projects are not delayed.

 

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