SOLAR DRYER IN KENYA
Description of technology transfer for the Laikipia Mjengo Housing
Libraries are rare in most parts of Kenya and where they are available the reading culture is
lacking. A majority of the population are forced to look for information when undertaking an
assignment. The other times, they choose to engage in other pastimes. The reading culture
gap has thus necessitated civil society groups like Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) and
Practical Action to complement the existing libraries by establishing special libraries to
support their initiatives.
Apart from the resource centres, organisations and institutes have also established Knowledge
Centres that are accessible to the general public. ALIN for example, has established a
number of Community Knowledge Centres in rural areas all over Kenya and Eastern Africa
that are open to members of the public. This helps in taking knowledge and required
information to the end users.
Complementary support has been forthcoming for such initiatives in the country and the
region. For instance, in support of ALIN’s work, Practical Action has distributed their
publications and other information through ALIN to the Community Knowledge Centres. The
results from this venture have been immense. Charles Mureithi a teacher and a farmer of
Ng'arua Focal Group in Laikipia District is one such beneficiary. Mureithi has been a member
of Ng’arua Knowledge Community centre since its inception. His diligence has borne fruit
since the information provided has helped him afford a solar drier.
‘After I read a book with the information on solar driers, I explained it to a Jua Kali artisan
who was able to fabricate the drier for me,’ he explained” But when asked if he could
remember the title of the book that he read, Mureithi only remembers that it was an
appropriate technology book by ITDG (Now Practical Action).
Photo 1: The Solar drier
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