Keeping the Energy Clean in Kenya
December 14, 2018
InPower is a campaign aiming to advocate for and promote the use of clean, sustainable, reliable, accessible and affordable energy in Kitui County, Kenya and support Kitui County Government to develop the Kitui County Energy Master Plan. Inpower launched its pilot phase in Kitui County, Kenya in September 2018.
The campaign has been working with local and international partners to deploy creative online and offline tactics to engage the most impacted communities and create media attention on the issue, increasing demand for renewable energy in Kitui. It has also been engaging Kitui County specific influencers to reach their audiences and amplify campaign messages.
Inpower is proud to be working in partnership with the Kenya Renewable Energy Working Group through Kenya National Environment Trust Fund (Netfund), Groots Kenya, the County Government of Kitui and Caritas Kitui.
ACTION RESEARCH & POLL
In order to develop a narrative specific to Kitui County, the InPower team carried out a range of research including a poll and a series of local action research activities. The data collected is also being used to develop recommendations to the Kitui County Energy Master Plan.
The objectives for the campaigns are directly informed by people living in Kitui. Household energy was identified as the main priority.
The campaign has been deploying creative online and offline tactics to engage the most impacted communities, create media attention on the issue, and increase demand for renewable energy in Kitui. It has also been engaging Kitui County specific influencers to reach their audiences and amplify our messages.
Kitui County’s first ever public solar powered event:
InPower held what was believed to be the first ever public solar powered event in Kitui County. The night, lit by solar lamps included a renewable energy cookout with the Minister for Environment, a solar powered cinema and exhibitions of clean energy solutions. Miss Environment Kenya also became an advocate for InPower: Kitui.
The event was attended by 3,500 of the local community, Government officials, local influencers and media personnel, and further amplified, amongst others on County FM radio, to over 1 million listeners. It received national and county media coverage, which profiled the steps Kitui was making in its commitment to renewable energy.
With partners, a full day of local activities including an art cafe, a live DJ, choral verses on energy, ‘Pepeta’ and a dance competition, were held to make the renewable energy conversation relatable and engaging for young people in Kitui. The event was also used to further understand the energy priorities of individuals in Kitui.
Over 3,000 people attended the event throughout the day. National and county media coverage ran throughout the day, and InPower received the endorsement of the chairperson of the Kitui County Youth Council.
A female football tournament between Inpower FC (representing clean energy) and local team, Afya Halisi FC, was held to highlight the need to simplify energy discussion renewable in an engaging way. The game crossed over into dusk to demonstrate how a lack of access to renewable energy impacts their ability to play games and socialize with friends.
Directors from Ministry of Tourism, Sports & Gender officiated the event, and it was covered by local media. More matches are now planned and this is evolving into a scalable tactic. The Department of Gender is interested is now engaging with the community on energy access.
ADVOCACY AND POLICY DEVELOPMENT
The campaign has also been organizing interactive capacity building and workshops with key decision makers and government officials to advocate for the prioritization of household renewable energy in Kitui County. They have been working with various government ministries to increase salience for renewable energy in all government departments.
County Directors convening
Cafod and the InPower coalition convened members of the Kitui County Assembly Committee on Energy, Directors from the departments of Health, Education, Trade, Energy & Environment and Tourism, Gender & Social services to consolidate on how renewable energy is a nexus to achieving development outcomes and the County Integrated Development plan in Kitui.
This was covered by national TV, including Citizen TV, Nation and KTN and County level radio. The campaign received a commitment to develop the County Energy Master plan and the inclusion of household energy in the County planning.
Interactive leaders capacity building
Using real life experiences and practical activities to build the capacity of decision makers in Kitui, the team improved the knowledge of County Advisers and Executive Committee members, on renewable energy solutions.
This was attended by the Deputy Governor, the County Secretary, 5 county ministers, Kitui and Mwingi towns Managers, the Governors Communications advisor, the Value chains advisors and the Chief officers, among other key leaders.
The Deputy Governor committed to ensuring that all departments budget for energy access and prioritize household energy needsThe day was hosted on County FM with a reach of 1 million people and was covered by 2 national newspapers ,a national TV & county blogs.
IN THE MEDIA
“Mr Musau said in the Next Budget allocation the County Government will factor in More Allocation to the Ministry because Energy cuts across all the Ministries. A lot should be done in the Ministry of Energy up to the village level in order to improve the kitui county economy and also the whole County.”
“ Makau said Kitui county had been honoured to pilot the Inpower drive and urged residents to support it.”
“ It is not only healthy, but also cost effective as it uses locally available raw materials such as refuse and biomass. This is an initiative that every household in Kitui could afford to take up and thus have very healthy families as use of solar energy… “
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