Creating Sustainable Solar Energy Solutions in Kakamega, Kenya, Africa
School of Public Service
Kakamega is a rural community in Kenya, Africa where solar panels have been implemented to deliver energy and promote renewable resources. Eco2Librium, founded and led by Dr. Mark Lung, is a company that delivers these solar panels to the residents of Kakamega. An area of concern is regarding environmental degradation by improper disposal of the electronic waste. However, this can be minimized by educating the local population on basic solar panel maintenance and sustainable recycling practices. The purpose of this research is to develop a plan to extend the life of these batteries, create educational materials to distribute to the local population, and ultimately dispose of them in an eco-friendly manner. Methods include interviewing Mark Lung regarding Eco2Librium, researching Kakamega statistics, and searching for nearby hazardous waste disposal facilities. An educational video is in development for the Eco2Librium staff that will highlight the risks that the solar panels and batteries can pose. After conducting research, the best solution regarding the used panels and batteries is to gather them from residents’ homes, take them to a central location in Kakamega, and, finally, transport them by vehicle to The WEEE Centre, a recycling facility in Nairobi, Kenya. At this facility, the batteries will be refurbished, if possible, or safely disposed of. A potential next step may regard utilizing alternate, more efficient battery types, such as salt-water batteries or aqueon batteries. The ultimate goal, in partnership with Eco2Librium, is to provide a future of sustainable electricity for the rural communities of Kakamega in an eco-friendly manner.
Huffman, Mitchell; Foster, Megan; Chopko, Natalie; and Fuller, Tevrin, "Creating Sustainable Solar Energy Solutions in Kakamega, Kenya, Africa" (2018). 2018 Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Conference. 4.