Firms to provide solar water pumps in arid regions

Davis & Shirtliff and Millennium Water Alliance officials sign a memorandum of understanding. [Courtesy]

Davis & Shirtliff has signed a memorandum of understanding with Millennium Water Alliance (MWA) to enable rural, low-income populations access clean energy solutions.

The partnership seeks to expand the availability of safe and sufficient water in arid and aemi-arid regions through solar water pumping.

MWA is a global alliance of leading humanitarian, research and business organisations. 

Farmers in the five counties of Wajir, Turkana, Garissa, Marsabit and Isiolo are targeted in a plan that will see agro-pastoralists acquire solar-powered irrigation equipment in small affordable instalments under a pre-paid financing model.

Davis & Shirtliff Group Chief Executive George Mbugua said the MoU aims at removing initial financial barriers to clean energy access by allowing agricultural and pastoral households to use solar electricity to water their crops and feed livestock.

“Agro-pastoralist communities are some of the most vulnerable groups affected by climate variabilities. Through this initiative, we will be seeking to cushion them from the shocks of climate change and increase their capacity to produce food and secure their livelihoods.”

Irrigation systems

Davis & Shirtliff, a leading supplier of water and energy-related equipment in the East Africa region, will provide the solar powered irrigation systems to farmers while MWA will partially finance the purchase for select farmers through funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

The company will also custom-design a low-cost PayGo system to cater for low-income communities and farmers in the arid and semi-arid regions, support training of borehole response and repair teams and technical staff of water utilities. 

MWA will support Davis & Shirtliff to design the low-cost PayGo system, leveraging on its network of partners who include World Vision, Food for the Hungry, CARE and Catholic Relief Services.

“MWA will also co-finance the training of water points operators, the borehole response and repair teams and Water utilities as well collaborate with Davis & Shirtliff on water point development through corporate social responsibility,” said Millennium Water Alliance Country Representative, Styvers Kathuni.

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