John Wamwana joins our team
Local partnerships established
One of our key suppliers is the Center for Alternative Technologies (CAT) in Nairobi. We are one of their valued customers and we have a good co-operation in case products show failures, which of course happen every now and then. Our contract with CAT makes it possible for RIWIK to minimize our own stock.
In November we had several meetings with senior representatives of the Kenya Industrial Estates Ltd, a company under responsibility of the Ministry of Industrialization of Kenya. The KIE supports the development of small scale and micro enterprises with financing, coaching and other business services. We started a pilot with them in Nyeri and Meru; we plan to formalize our relationship with a MoU at the central level in Nairobi.
New staff members on board
Early September, Tim van Wageningen left RIWIK after a successful period in Kenya of more than the planned six months. Tim was of great support to Bart during the first months of operations and we still miss his profound technical expertise.
Fortunately we hired Anthony Mariuki Maina as the new Technical Manager. Anthony is from Thika and had experience with wind turbines before he joined RIWIK.
John is an intern who works for RIWIK as Technical Assistant; he might stay with RIWIK after his three months internship. He is a good support for Kennedy Andika Kamau, who is our Head of Market Development. Kennedy is responsible for the development of the middle market segment. He started mid November and already generated the first leads in this segment.
Left: Technical manager Anthony Maina and Head of Market Development Kennedy Andika
Extending our product range
During our first months of operation, we had many requests from customers to not only provide them with a wind turbine, but also with (additional) solar panels and water pumps. For this reason, RIWIK now also offers hyrbid wind/solar system, solar PV systems and solar powered water pumps. Solar powered water pumps are very efficient, cost-effective solutions for pumping water from a well or nearby river, particularly because they do not require batteries nor an inverter.
We currently offer two wind turbine systems, the Airflow 350 and Airflow 800. These products are ideal to serve small to medium energy needs. In January, RIWIK will introduce a 1kW wind turbine to serve the needs of larger households and institutions.
Doen Foundation and EEP support RIWIK
In November we received a considerable grant from Doen Foundation to develop the market of rural families, small businesses and institutions. We also signed a contract with EEP (Energy and Environment Partnership programme), a development organization funded by the governments of Austria, the UK and Finland. EEP finances a number of demonstration wind turbines for the SME market, including business coaching of the participants. The goal of the project is to demonstrate the benefits of green electricity from a wind turbine to Kenya's off-grid businesses.
With these funds, we have secured our funding for the coming year and we are much better able to explore markets that would be almost unreachable for us otherwise. It requires quite some time, energy and money to make people in rural Kenya familiar with green energy solutions and develop their own business with it.
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