Electricity Comes to Nyankoba Ward

Until recently, without electricity, schoolchildren and villagers ended their day when the sun went down.  Access to the internet was limited to those willing to take the long walk to an internet cafe in Keroka and few did this. There were no computers in any of the ten schools of the Nyankoba Ward. The only connection to the outside world was through the ubiquitous mobile phone, which was recharged for a fee by enterprising young children who took car batteries down to the main road to be charged and carried them back up the hill to the village. Cooking was mostly done on wood stoves and all chores that electricity takes care of for us in America were done by hand.

Electricity6When the Hopewell students traveled to Nyanchonori in 2007, they asked their Kenyan peers, “What do you need the most?”  Their reply was that they needed light to study by; the days are too short, they have many chores to do and there is little time to study and do their homework.  Here in Hopewell, NJ, we take electricity, and the abundance it offers us, for granted every day.

In 2013, the Kenyan Government, in partnership with Kenya Power and Light Company (KP&L), extended Electricity2their rural electrification program to the Nyankoba Ward. Kenyan telecommunications company SafariCom has brought power to its cell phone tower at the top of the hill in Nyanchonori. It had previously been powered with a diesel generator. HKA-Keroka worked with SafariCom and KP&L to install transformers to supply the Nyanchonori Primary and Secondary Schools, the Tea Buying Center and the Nyanchonori Healthcare Center, and to obtain access for homes who are able to pay for the connection. During 2014, we sent $10,500 to  connect these buildings to the grid and to install internal wiring for lights and outlets.

Electricity1In March 2015, we sent the final installment of $8,800 to complete the project throughout the Nyankoba ward. In summary, the facilities which will have electricity are: Nyanchonori, Nyankoba and Mong’oni Secondary Schools; Kegwanda, Chitago, Nyaigesa, Nyanchonori, Mong’oni and Nyankoba primary schools; Kegwanda and Mong’oni trade schools/polytechnics; Nyanchonori and Mong’oni Health Care Centers and the Nyanchonori Tea Collection Center. Bringing electricity to the community has been a goal since the inception of HKA and it is good to see this accomplished. The benefits to residents, and in particular to students, is enormous. Congratulations to all for the fund-raising that has made this happen.

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