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Water for the Barsaloi community; Renewable energy reaches the Samburu desert, Kenya

Implementation of a system  hybrid that allows access to water for the entire population, combining the two types of energy, solar and fossil fuel.

The objectives of the project are: to implement and expand the capacity of the water system of the Barsaloi community through the installation of a hybrid system powered mainly by solar energy and the construction of a galvanized pipe system that allows to connect the secondary school to 1.3 km and the upper part of the community 1.2 km to guarantee a reasonable supply of water to the entire community, generating more dignified and equitable conditions for all. The ultimate and long-term goal is for every person in Barsaloi to be able to enjoy clean water service in Barsaloi Parish, located in northeast Kenya, 500 kilometers from Nairobi, in the heart of the Samburu desert. It is the Xaverian Missionaries of Yarumal who have been in this parish for many years who have asked us for help with this project. They will be in charge of managing and controlling the project.

The area has  a population of about 2,000 residents. It is an arid place with difficult access and is the natural habitat of the Samburu tribe. It is a traditionally nomadic tribe that survives by grazing goats, sheep, cows or camels. At present and conditioned by the arrival of schools and other current influences, they have been abandoning the nomadic practice and their members have been settling in small towns.

Water has always been the big problem for the Samburu tribe. They depend on it to live and to take care of their livestock, their main wealth. It is generally the main cause of dispute between neighboring tribes.

The current water supply system has different drawbacks: the very high cost of fuel generated by the inaccessibility of the area, the high consumption of the current engine and the need for constant overhauls and recurrent fuel shortages in the area for political reasons and economic. For these reasons, various studies have been carried out that offer real long-term alternatives and it has been decided to apply renewable energies, which allow a better use and care of the environment and reduce the recurring cost of fuel. According to the study carried out, the current structure is compatible with the installation of a hybrid system that allows combining the two types of energy, solar and fossil fuel, when the first is not enough. Said system allows the two combustion processes to work alternately in the same machine, so that a great use of the sun's rays would be obtained through a photovoltaic module that captures the energy and that would be reserved in the batteries. Hybrids are autonomous systems that operate without being connected to any means of electrical distribution. These are some of the many advantages of the system: (i) when the energy source is not present (the sun), the system continues to provide current from its alternate energy source (the batteries); (ii) when the sun emits its rays, the energy absorption and storage system is carried out quickly and effectively; (iii) it constitutes part of clean and renewable energies that have a low amount of carbon emissions; and finally, (iv) that photovoltaic systems require very little maintenance, also reducing service and repair costs. The possible disadvantages of an exclusively solar system would be totally solved since the use of fossil fuel is taken as a preventive measure, thus being a supplementary energy source in case of any eventuality.

By implementing the hybrid system, it would be possible to take better advantage of the existing water source, respecting the environment and the finances of the community.

The social benefit will be very high because in a community so far away when there is water, development becomes a reality; the number of animals and their quality increases and more importantly, the community remains at peace since the shepherds and warriors do not look for water in other places, where frequent territorial conflicts are generated. Women can attend the different adult education programs, women's leadership and promotion and organic farming programs and, without a doubt, the most important thing is that children have enough time and the right environment for the learning processes and Educative development.


Aligned with several SDGs, concerned about the environment and the different factors that lead to a deterioration of natural resources, deforestation, low environmental quality, impoverishment of the soil, etc. we're  taking initiatives and organizing projects that  They fight this problem. We have started to build with ecological bricks, invest in new wells, support renewable energy installations and promote actions that lead to a more sustainable and ecological agriculture.


One of the examples is our partnership with MAWA, an NGO from Malawi for a permeaculture project. For more information click here.

In Malawi there is a majority of the population that cultivates small farms that occupy most of the arable area (4.5 million hectares) with maize and other types of grain on not very rich soils and with little production. For many it is their only job and livelihood. The food of the whole family depends on the annual harvest.

Together with Mawa, we want to introduce a new kind of  agriculture aligned with the environment that uses available natural resources, to have a sustainable and economic production.  


Once trained, the farmers will be able to obtain fresh food throughout the year, not depending exclusively on the corn harvest and developing alternative crops around the house where they live. We work for your food safety and the improvement of the environment.


Mawa organizes  training sessions for groups of farmers in the field, in permaculture (training, supervision and monitoring) and gives them a pack of tools, seeds and animals that allow them to improve their standard of living, health and economic independence.  



We know that the road ahead is very long but every action counts



Drilling wells in rural Malawi is perhaps one of the projects that best defines the objectives of our association: to contribute to the development of rural communities by providing infrastructures that improve health, nutrition and the improvement of the educational quality of the Poorest children in Malawi.


We are proud to have built 35 wells in the Dowa and Benga areas, of which 5 have been this year.

Despite the difficulties, thanks to funding from HAAN and its mediation with HOOF and DONNER REUSCHEL, 5 villages now have a better quality of life in many respects.


The construction of wells prevents the population from collecting water for their daily intake in exposed places (rivers, streams, lakes or ponds), which are a source of disease. Poor water quality has a direct impact on the health of the population and its nutritional status. It contributes to poor growth in children and creates significant problems for pregnant women. The possibility that they drink water from a safe source has an immediate effect on the health and nutritional status of the population, and increases their productivity and quality of life.













Tuum and Barsaloi are two small villages in the Samburu desert.  They are located about 500 kilometers from Nairobi.  These arid and inaccessible places are the habitat of the Samburu and Turkana tribes.

Both the lack of rains and the fact that grazing is the main activity of these tribes, make the care of the flock the main objective of these families, a task that falls on the children who are considered the smartest.

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Construtions with Eco bricks

Since the 2019 annual trip, Active Africa made the decision to carry out the works with so-called ecological bricks. They are compact bricks that are obtained from the mixture of sand and cement.

Unlike those that are produced in a traditional way throughout the country, they do not need cooking, they are not dried with wood ovens, which means that their use reduces the felling of trees and improves the environment.




It is difficult to think that the entire population can change their traditional way of building, but it is true that, to our small extent, we can limit the number of bricks made in the old way and reduce the use of firewood.

We know that the Government of Malawi has also imposed the rule that public constructions are made with this new material.

Our builder, Moses Kasamba, has a machine that manufactures them using high pressure and with a finish similar to the traditional one.

Of course, there will continue to be an obligation on the part of local communities to contribute water, sand and labor as a collaboration to the project. And on the other hand, the design of the building will be the same as the one used so far but with this innovation, we hope to see benefits for the entire community.




We are currently implementing this system in several construction sites:


- New building with 3 classrooms in Kanyenje sponsored by MANGO

- Reconstruction of 2 blocks of classrooms in Mpangweni sponsored by the Mercedes Armengou Foundation and funds from the Association

- New building with 3 classrooms in Mtenje sponsored by the Mercedes Armengou Foundation

- Fence of the land of the next boarding of St.Mary's Rehabilitation Center in Chezi, Dowa, supported by MANGO and GANDARA

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