An international Solar Energy company has launched Ksh. 825 Million (6.875 Million Euro.) in Kilifi county to provide solar energy and open enterprises for women in rural areas.
The Multi Million five year programme funded by the European Union dubbed Women Increasing Sustainable Energy Access and Use (WISE) will be implemented by Barefoot Power and other local partners in Kenya, Uganda and Sierra Leone .
It aims at establishing solar energy enterprises at the villages which will be run by women groups with a view to ensure access to solar energy and at the same time empower them financially.
It was launched for the first time in Kenya at Majajani village in Kilifi County.
Jackson Machuhi, the Barefoot Power CEO said they are targeting 100,000 women to be informed aware of sustainable energy technologies and impacts.
Addressing members of the Public during the official launch of the programme, he said they will partner with local, regional and national financial institutions to establish a Women Enterprise Finance Facility (WEFF) which would provide seed startup capital and incubate 5,550 women owned and women run sustainable energy enterprises.
Kilifi deputy Governor Gideon Saburi graced the ceremony and launched the first solar enterprise which was handed over to Majajani women group.
“The WEFF will ensure continuity and perpetual access to finance for the women sustainable energy enterprises beyond the program tenure,’’ he said.
The CEO said the program will create employment, impart technical skills to women and youth.
In Kenya, he said they have partnered with Mesic Foundation, a Dutch NGO which is very active locally and cares deeply about women empowerment.
“WISE will facilitate women owned and women run enterprises in the areas of household solar lighting and solar power for household appliances, solar water pumping and drip irrigation, post-harvest management and clean cooking’’ he said.