Kenya’s Renewable Energy Sector Growing, Attracting International Investors

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $71.5m loan to support a water and sanitation programme in Kenya, which will improve water access and quality in 11 counties across the country, helping 1.3 million people.
The Kenya Water and Sanitation Programme for Results will construct 10 new sewerage treatment plants and rehabilitate nine existing plants to improve sanitation services. It will also support hygiene and sanitation training for 200,000 families and increase access to handwashing facilities in schools.
“The programme is expected to significantly contribute towards the attainment of the national target of universal access to water and sanitation services as outlined in the Kenya Vision 2030 development plan,” said the AfDB in a statement.

water pollution

The project will be implemented over a five-year period and is in line with Kenya’s Vision 2030 development plan, which aims to provide universal access to water and sanitation.
According to the AfDB, about 33 million people in Kenya lack access to safe water, while 70% of the population does not have access to basic sanitation.
“Increased investment is required in water infrastructure to meet the increasing demand from urbanisation and a growing population,” said Bank Director-General for East Africa, Nnenna Nwabufo.
The programme is also in line with the AfDB’s High 5 development priorities, which include improving the quality of life for Africans, as well as with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 6 – ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
Kenya’s water sector has struggled with limited access to funding, weak governance, and a lack of investment in infrastructure.

In summary, Kenya’s renewable energy sector is experiencing a surge of growth, attracting significant international investment. This development is mainly driven by the country’s supportive policy framework, including its national renewable energy strategy and feed-in tariff programme. The government’s commitment to increase renewable energy generation to 5000MW by 2030 is also boosting investor confidence.

As one of the leading renewable energy companies in Kenya, CESP Africa is playing a vital role in driving this growth by providing sustainable solutions to communities, businesses, and institutions. Through our innovative approach to design and engineering, we are enabling our clients to make a significant transition towards green energy, reduce their carbon footprint, and lower their energy costs. Our range of solutions includes solar, wind, biogas, and hydroelectric power generation, energy storage, and energy efficiency measures. We are proud to be part of the movement towards a more sustainable future for Kenya and the world.

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The future of sustainable affordable housing in Kenya.

On 11th October 2022 President Ruto inspected the Kings Serenity Affordable Housing Programme project in Ongata Rongai. The Kings Serenity housing project is part of the Boma Yangu initiative whose main agenda is to provide affordable housing to Kenyans. The project aims to provide 15,000 affordable housing units.

The Kings Serenity project is part of former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s affordable housing programme under the Big Four agenda.

As well as the project in Ongata Rongai the programme also aims to build housing units in Mukuru kwa Reuben as well as other areas in the country.


With so many housing units being constructed there will be a huge strain on the existing infrastructure, including wastewater sewage management and water provision. CESP Africa has provided a wastewater management system to aid that strain.

We are in the process of installing a complete wastewater treatment plant that will be complete and operational before 2023, before residents move into the housing units. The treatment plant will not only treat the wastewater produced in the project but will also recycle water that can be used for watering plants and cleaning the environs.

The system is an important part of keeping the overall housing project affordable as it reduces the need for provision of water by other water providers.

The future.

As the Kings Serenity project comes to a close, we hope to be future partners in the provision of affordable housing in Kenya. Not only recycling wastewater but also providing treated water for future housing projects.

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Drought in Taita Taveta

Africa is seeing the effects of climate change despite only contributing 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Food security has been a longstanding issue in many African countries, but with climate change making the situation worse, the future is uncertain. Eastern Africa carries the staggering burden of 70 percent of the world’s food insecure people and 17 percent of global humanitarian need. With the approaching COP27 to be held in Egypt, dubbed Africa’s COP, African nations need to unite to make their needs known.

COP27 to be held in Egypt

There is an even greater emphasis on the need to change, from a reliance on fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy. The war in Ukraine and subsequent interruptions in the supply chain of oil have made it obvious that relying on oil and coal is a bad idea.

The situation in Taita Taveta, Kenya.

Kenya has experienced 4 consecutive failed rainy seasons. Areas such as Taita Taveta county are really seeing the effects of the drought. Many dams, rivers and lakes in the area, especially in the lowland areas of Voi, Mwatate and Taveta sub counties, have almost completely dried up.

They include the historic Kishenyi dam, Kighombo dam, Mwatate earth dam and Voi river among others. Kishenyi dam which supplied water to over 15,000 farmers has almost completely dried up, leaving many with empty farms.

“These areas are deemed to be hotspots in that cattle deaths were reported from the beginning of September. Little or lack of off-season rains also worsened the pasture and water stress,”

NDMA drought early warning bulletin for September.

The rainy season is expected to be between November and December 2022, but until that time there will be continual loss of livestock.

“Farmers should opt for drought-tolerant crops since there is the likelihood of inadequate rainfall. Overstocking should be discouraged to reduce the loss of livestock,”

Met county director Robinson Asira.
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Blackwater and greywater, what’s the difference?

Water is possibly the most important resource to man. It is integral to so many of our activities. After use, the water is contaminated and not readily usable in many cases. The wastewater produced from different processes is not contaminated to the same extent. Hence the different classifications of wastewater. Blackwater and greywater.

What is greywater?

Greywater, also called sullage, is wastewater from households or office buildings from streams without fecal contamination. All streams except for the wastewater from toilets. Sources of grey water include sinks, showers, baths, washing machines or dishwashers.

A kitchen sink is a source of greywater.

What is blackwater?

 Blackwater is wastewater that contains feces, urine, water and toilet paper from flush toilets. The pathogens present in blackwater also distinguish it from greywater.

Blackwater being drained into a water body.

Why the distinction.

Though both may be wastewater the level of contamination is different, requiring different treatment.

Greywater is less contaminated than blackwater meaning treatment is simpler. Provided the greywater does not contain harmful chemicals such as soap and detergents it can be recycled for irrigation and other domestic uses. Organic matter from kitchens may provide an added bonus to plant life if used for irrigation.

Blackwater is more contaminated, meaning it requires more thorough treatment before it is fit for any other use.

 Treatment processes such as extended aeration may be used to treat the blackwater to produce clean effluent. Chlorine may be added to the effluent to kill any pathogens present in the effluent.

The scale of the treatment plant based on the size of the facility it is servicing and the population. There are home sewage treatment plants (also domestic wastewater treatment plants) or commercial wastewater treatment systems.

A commercial sized wastewater treatment plant designed and installed by CESP Africa.

These systems treat both black and greywater together giving clean effluent that can be used for irrigation and general cleaning. The effluent produced is also fit for dumping in the local drainage after certification by National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA)


Blackwater and greywater should be stored and treated separately, where possible, to be more energy efficient. Households and offices that actively reuse greywater have the added benefit of reduced cost associated with water while also being environmentally conscious.

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What you need to know about septic tanks.

What is a septic tank?

A septic tank is a tank typically placed underground, in which Settling and anaerobic processes reduce wastewater (solids and organics). Typically, septic tanks are made of concrete or are ready to install plastic tanks. Though their treatment efficiency is only moderate.

Septic tank systems are a type of simple onsite sewage facility.

Mistakenly, the term may be used to refer to a wastewater storage tank or a biodigester. These two are different and serve different purposes. A wastewater storage tank doesn’t treat the wastewater but only acts as a temporary hold before it is transported away. A bio-digester takes advantage of aerobic processes to more effectively break down the wastewater to give clean effluent.

Septic systems are also called:

  • onsite wastewater treatment systems,
  • decentralized wastewater treatment systems,
  • cluster systems,
  • on-lot systems,
  • individual sewage disposal systems, and
  • private sewage systems.

How it works.

Septic tanks usually comprise of one or two Large chambers depending on the needs of the people it serves.

A schematic of a septic tank.

The first chamber receives the wastewater and regulates its flow. The solid waste, being heavier, sinks to the bottom of the chamber. The liquid portion of the wastewater fills the first chamber until it reaches the inlet into the second chamber. The same happens in the second chamber until it fills the chamber. At the liquid then leaves the septic tank through an out let into a soak pit.

The fats and oils float on top of the liquid portion of the wastewater to form a layer of scum. The solid waste settles at the bottom of the septic tank’s chambers forming a sludge.

There are bacteria in the wastewater that anaerobically digest a portion of the waste. The rate of digestion is slow hence the sludge needs to be periodically emptied.

The soak pit is a covered, porous-walled chamber that allows water to slowly soak into the ground.

Considerations when choosing a septic tank

Size the system will occupy.

The size of the system is dependent on the number of people expected to use the system. Typically, the breakdown of wastewater in the septic tank is slow so it has to be dug deeper, than say a biodigester. Some may even be up to 7 meters deep.

Emptying the system.

The breakdown process is slow because the system only utilizes anaerobic processed, hence sludge usually accumulates in the tank.

Periodically the system will have to be emptied out using an exhauster or vacuum truck.

The soak pit.

The soil has to be able to soak up the liquid portion of the wastewater after the septic tank or stand the chance of saturating the nearby soil. This could form puddles of wastewater on the surface or in extreme cases collapse of the soak pit.

Why use a septic tank?

It might be your only option.

Many areas within Kenya, especially rural areas, do not have access to government provided wastewater treatment facilities. When faced with such a situation getting a septic tank to partially treat and hold waste water might be the only real option you have.

Public and environmental health.

Some more impoverished parts of the country that lack proper wastewater management systems resort to dumping their sewage, which is a huge public health and environmental risk. As a solution, one could use a septic tank to hold their wastewater.

What are my options?

When the local administration hasn’t provided a wastewater disposal solution your main options are a septic tank or an aerobic wastewater treatment system. The latter having its own advantages and considerations over a septic tank.

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