Kwale Research – Part 2


Msambweni shops

In Msambweni I got to interview some of the men of the village. They had so many complaints and worries on their minds, but often they were on similar topics. I went on a Saturday which was market day with temporary wooden makeshift structures.
Their main worries were serious: number one was always healthcare and access to such services, there is only one dispensing hospital in whole area and no mobile doctors.
Secondly they worry about energy/power/lighting can’t run stalls or anything into evening other villages have light and economy is booming, theirs is overlooked and bypassed for this. I expect it’s hard not to be jealous or bitter but they’re not.
General economy – they’re not economically empowered, they hear politics and government talk and want to be part of ‘big four’ agenda but find this also passes them by and are not too hopeful. There are some local companies and jobs like at the titanium mine, but most can’t get job in mining company as their education and swahili isn’t good enough. They tend to hire people come from Mombasa.
Food security – any adverse conditions of drought or flooding can ruin their crops. Looming hunger fears surround them in southern and northern parts Kenya kalana golalu project, need empowered at village level, irrigation. They have problems of kerosene/charcoal but consider these womens’ problems even thought they directly suffer the cost and results.

Juma does fit our original unit specification better. As the mobile phone charging would also be a considerable saving. So the $25 unit would light his family’s homestead and charge their mobile phones. Making it only a matter of three or four weeks before the unit paid for itself! The unit will work for another ten to twenty years after that.

Breaking the habitual spending on those necessities of light and phone charging like this can actually dramatically improve the main concerns people like Juma have. That additional money can make the difference in food for the family, education for the children, medicine and whatever the family deems is the most important thing.