Climate Fund Managers, Solar Water Solutions partner to install solar-powered desalination plants in Kenya

KENYA – Climate Fund Managers (CFM) has partnered with Solar Water Solutions (SWS), to co-finance and co-develop a portfolio of solar-powered desalination installations in Kenya.

Under the agreement, CFM under its Climate Investor Two (CI2) fund will initially co-finance a piloting phase for these installations and later co-finance the full roll-out of up to 200 units in the Kitui County, that will reach up to 400,000 Kenyans.

The total funding opportunity for CI2’s Construction Equity Fund is estimated up to US$15 million, with the intention to expand the platform further across East Africa after successful implementation efforts in Kenya.

The project is co-developed by the Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD), via its Origination Facility, which is managed by SNV, Netherlands Development Organisation.

It is located in a landscape identified by the DFCD as being highly vulnerable to the ongoing effects of the global climate crisis.

“We are excited to partner with Solar Water Solutions and the Kitui Government to develop this opportunity and combine safe drinking water supply with a 100% renewable energy solution.”

Head of investments at Climate Fund Managers – Tarun Brahma

In the County of Kitui, many wells that are used to provide drinking water contain salts and fluoride, rendering the water unsafe for direct consumption and the project aims to remove these substances from the abstracted groundwater and alleviate the lack of access to high-quality drinking water.

“We are very pleased with the initiative that will bring very clean drinking water to the rural population in Kitui County that need it most. It is the most exciting project I have been part of in all my career”, says Emmanuel Kisangau, Minister of Water in Kitui County.

The installations will consist of a mobile container housing reverse osmosis water treatment, solar panels and a ‘water ATM’ which allows citizens to purchase high quality water using their mobile phones with each installation running only on renewable energy without the use of battery storage or electricity from the grid.

“With this partnership with CFM and locally with Kitui County and Epicenter Africa, we can together revolutionise the access to safe affordable water in rural Kenya in a most sustainable way.

“All key elements are in place: the most energy-efficient solar powered, water purification technology, access to finance with a leading institutional investor, local partners and a market-based business model,” Antti Pohjola, CEO of Solar Water Solutions said.

Upon full deployment, it is estimated that the installations will have the capacity to desalinate over 1,500m3 of brackish water per day, and produce over one GWh per year of self-supporting clean energy to power the systems.

“This initiative covers a key component of CI2’s investment mandate: supplying safe drinking water to people that currently do not have access.

“We are excited to partner with Solar Water Solutions and the Kitui Government to develop this opportunity and combine safe drinking water supply with a 100% renewable energy solution,” Tarun Brahma, head of investments at Climate Fund Managers stated.

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