First-ever fully solar powered desalination system to produce pure drinking water for school children in Kenya

Press release, November 15, 2018: Humanitarian aid organization World Vision and Finnish water technology company Solar Water Solutions have launched a fully solar-powered water purification unit in Tseikuru, Kitui County.

The unit provides safe drinking water from saline water for some 710 people, including 410 children. The local community no longer has to fetch water over long distances.

The SolarRO unit produces water using an innovative solar-powered reverse osmosis system without any batteries.

“Reverse osmosis method typically requires much energy. Solar Water Solutions comes in to provide a technological solution to solve this energy challenge. Our solution makes it possible to supply safe water to people living in remote areas without electricity coverage,” says Antti Pohjola, CEO of Solar Water Solutions.

The SolarRO water purification system makes clean drinking water without chemicals and emissions from seawater, impure lakes and rivers, or saline boreholes.

Every child deserves safe water

The partnership between Kitui County Government, World Vision in Kenya and Finland, and Solar Water Solutions makes it possible for Tseikuru residents to benefit from the new solution. Water is a scarce resource in Kitui County, especially in the Tseikuru location. The climate is hot and dry with unreliable and unpredictable rainfall, which fluctuates from year to year.

“Many boreholes, such as the Kasaini borehole have salty water and other contaminants, making the water unsafe for human consumption,” says World Vision Kenya, Associate Director, Water Sanitation and Hygiene, Enock Oruko.
“World Vision believes every child deserves clean water. In collaboration with our partners, the water programmes we are implementing are helping children and their communities in areas we work in over 30 counties across Kenya access clean water, safe sanitation, and dignified hygiene,” he stresses.

SolarRO system – automatic and easy to maintain

The launch of the system involved installing the Kasaini borehole with reverse osmosis technology and now produces pure drinking water from a drilled well. The unit produces over 1000 liters of clean water per hour and on average, 8,000 liters per day. It operates effectively regardless of water inflow fluctuations due to variable solar conditions. The system can be easily switched to an electrical grid or a small generator as a back-up during non-solar hours.

The technology operates automatically and with low maintenance. The service partner in the region is Epicenter Africa, a leading Kenyan provider in water and renewable energy projects. The Kasaini borehole is expected to serve the community for at least the next ten years working closely together with the county government to ensure the water project is sustained. The borehole can deliver about six cubic meters per hour of water at a Total Dynamic Head (TDH) of 150 meters. TDH is the total equivalent height that fluid is to be pumped, taking into account friction losses in the pipe.

For more Information, please contact:

World Vision Kenya | Communications Manager,May Ondeng
Email: May_Ondeng@wvi.org

World Vision Kenya | Water Sanitation and Hygiene | Associate Director, Enock Oruko
Email: Enock_Oruko@wvi.org

World Vision Finland | Communications Manager, Anna Pollari
Email: Anna.pollari@worldvision.fi

World Vision Finland | Junior Programme Advisor, Janika Valtari
Email: Janika.valtari@worldvision.fi

Solar Water Solutions | CEO, Antti Pohjola
Email: Antti.pohjola@solarwatersolutions.fi

About World Vision

World Vision is a global Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.

About Solar Water Solutions

Solar Water Solutions is a Finnish water technology company offering sustainable water purification products. The revolutionary SolarRO system produces clean drinking water from saline or contaminated water with pure solar power. All equipment is designed and manufactured in Finland. Solar Water Solutions operates worldwide and won the Global Water Awards innovation prize in UAE 2017. The SolarRO system makes high-quality water with renewable energy, zero running costs and ease of use – Just plug and drink.

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