Three new solar powered water kiosks have recently been installed in Kenya by HabiHut, LLC. Not only do the units provide clean drinking water for the region, solar panels generate electricity for the off-grid area for cell phone charging and street light illumination.
HabiHut worked with Umande Trust, a Kenyan based NGO, to install the solar water kiosks in a single day.
A single HabiHut water kiosk includes a 1,500 gal water tank. The first 1000 gallons are gravity fed, with the remaining 500 gallons pumped via energy from solar panels.
Just watch this fascinating video that shows how the units are constructed and how they operate:
Villagers in Kenya can purchase clean, safe potable water from the HabiHut solar powered water kiosks. The installations are part of a pilot project aimed to establish its financial sustainability. After three months, each kiosk averaged 2,600 customers per month. Most came to purchase water (85%), and the rest used the solar powered kiosks for cell phone charging. Hours of operation are from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. With solar lights illuminating the neighborhood, the villagers feel safer and more secure visiting the HabiHut after dark.
According to the HabiHut website:
The gravity fed base model includes a 1500 gallon water tank that includes all necessary plumbing and conforms to normal standards. Included in the unit are self contained, solar powered interior and exterior LED lighting kits.
Options to the water kiosk include a solar powered in-line pump fed design. The self priming, in-line pump is extremely durable and easily replaced being that it is “in-line” and not submersible. The 12 volt pump supplies 600 gallons/hour (2 five gallon buckets/minute) and is easily supported by a simple PV (photovoltaic) panel and battery system.
A cell phone charging station can also be incorporated into the kiosk to provide added benefit to remote populations.
The solar water kiosks have been designed to help the 1.1 billion people that lack access to clean water, and the 500 million cell phone users that are not grid-connected. In Kenya, these populations often coincide.
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