Turkana Basin Institute

Solar Powered Reverse Osmosis for Hydroponic Agriculture in Northern Kenya

Innovation Type

Water-Energy-Food

Country of Incorporation

Kenya

Country(Ies) of Implementation

Kenya

Product Segment

Energy - Farm Input, Energy - Farm Production & Mechanization, Water - Re-use / Efficiency, Water - Capture / Storage

Challenge

The climate change phenomena have complicated the situation in many parts of Northern Kenya as boreholes dry up and become saline due to heat waves making the dry spells harsher and prolonged. Marsabit County remains one of the drought-stricken counties in this region and continues to face severe food and nutritional security situations for many months in a given year. According to a 2019 Kenya government report on food security assessment, this is normally due to short rains that continue past the normal cessation period in most parts of the county. In fact, the government of Kenya has classified Marsabit as food stressed due to perennial food shortage. Strengthening household resilience by adoption of climate smart innovations such as Solar-Powered Desalinization & Hydroponics remains a practical solution. At least going by the many years of TBI’s experience in implementing hydroponics farming in Illeret, a village of Marsabit County.

Solution

Solar powered reverse osmosis systems are a novel technology for the purification of water in the absence of an electric grid and without need for a diesel generator. We aim to combine this technology with hydroponic farming systems that allow year-around resource efficient cultivation of crops, which is highly productive, space-efficient and independent from climate conditions.

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