Kenya turns to boreholes as a chief source of fresh water for domestic and industrial use. A multinational Davis and Shirtliff; Company based in Nairobi, in partnership with Solar pump makers Lorentz, has launched the Lorentz pump scanner application for customers and technicians to monitor borehole performance to stem water wastage from boreholes in areas around Nairobi, according to a press release to the media during the launch
“We developed the technology for preventive maintenance for clients and also to give customers more control of their pumps,” said Kai Reinecke Channel Manager at Lorentz.
The country has experienced water shortages in recent years due unpredictable drought that leads to drop in water levels in the existing dams. Studies indicates the current rate of drilling, by 2015 there will be approximately 4900 boreholes across the Nairobi groundwater system. It is predicted that it will pump up to 200000 cubic Meters daily up from 4130.
It is an addition to ongoing drilling initiatives in other parts of the country. It includes the Lotikipi aquifer which is estimated to hold 200 billion cubic meters of fresh water. The Aquifer is expected to increase the country’s volume of accessible water by 8.5 per cent and double the amount of water available for consumption today, according to Government reports.
The PS controller is available as an application for Android phones as well as accessible via tablets and laptops and is able to store data for up to 2 years, giving proper records of the pumping activities, including how much water is being produced, at what rate, the amount of power being used, and the length of each pumping session according to Norman Chege, Solar Manager Davis and Sirtliff Group.
He added that once a pump is switched on, the PS controller sends data on voltage and pump rotation via GPS to the Lorentz database, where it is stored. It is then sent to the clients’ laptop or phone. “Before, we only sent a technician to site when the client reported abnormal output, or the pump had broken down,” said Norman Chege, Solar Manager Davis and Shirtliff Group.
In Mombasa County, about 35 per cent of water demand is supplied by ground water sources. This including; Marere boreholes, which mainly supply the Likoni area. This is about 14000 out of the 190000 households in the district are almost permanently dependent on groundwater.
“In such situations, where lives of thousands depend on the water from boreholes, any malfunction puts these families at risk. The system gives one time to organize for a technician to get on site before the system breaks down completely,” said Chege.
The company has also partnered World Vision on a KSh3 million solar powered borehole pumping installation providing water to 2000 people and 20,000 livestock with 80m3 of water per day in Wajir, Northern Kenya. PS controller enables one to remotely switch off a borehole, enabling control of the amount of time a borehole is functioning. The device cost of KSh60,000 with a monthly service charge of KSh2,600 shillings.
The cost of drilling and casting a Nairobi borehole is Sh1.4 million. It is about a half a million in average, for pump, control panel, and piping costs and the total is Ksh1.9 million, according to data from the World Bank report. “A borehole is a significant investment, thus the need for close monitoring to ensure that it runs efficiently,” said Mr Chege.
Davis and Shirtliff is a Kenyan multinational, operating through a network of Kenyan branches and regional subsidiaries in Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, Burundi and DRC. Founded in Kenya in 1946, it is the leading supplier of water related and alternative energy equipment in East Africa.
“Davis and Shirtliff is the first in the region to bring this product to full commercial use, and we are already seeing the impact it’s having on communities, especially in semi arid areas,” said Mr. Davis.
Many homes in Kenyans are now assured access clean and uninterrupted flow water to their taps by 2015 with help of Davis and Shirtliff, Lorentz, and other Non-governmental organizations partnership.
The country gets into business of exploring other natural resources. Recently, coal, oil and gas, and other valuable mineral deposits have been discovered in many parts of country. Many are seeing Kenya seeking membership with Oil Producing countries in the near future.