AHK Services Eastern Africa
Energy and Environment

German-Kenyan Partnership Linked by AHK Eastern Africa Launches Largest Decentralized Solar Water Desalination Project in Eastern Africa


Boreal Light of Germany and WaterKiosk of Kenya met during a business delegation trip in 2017 implemented by AHK Eastern Africa.

The Delegation of German Industry and Commerce for Eastern Africa (AHK Eastern Africa) is proud to report the launch of the largest decentralized solar water desalination project in Eastern Africa. The project is a consequence of a fruitful partnership between Boreal Light GmbH (German) and WaterKiosk Ltd. (Kenya). The two were linked at a Practitioners’ Forum on Advancing the Optimization of Kenyan Industry with Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy –Technologies and Case Studies organized by AHK Eastern Africa’s Competence Center Energy and Environment in 2017. The forum was implemented by AHK Eastern Africa under the auspices of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) as part of its Renewable Energies Export Initiative.

Through a financing partnership with Atmosfair GmbH (German), and a cooperation with  with, Bilal Sustainable Development Project (Kenya) and Boreal Light and WaterKiosk are set to implement 40 solar water desalination systems financed by Atmosfair, manufactured by Boreal Light, owned and installed by WaterKiosk and audited by Bilal Sustainable Development Project. The installations shall deliver a total of one million liters of hygiene drinking water per day and are planned to be installed in Wajir, Mombasa, Naivasha, Garissa, Turkana, Machakos, Makueni, Kajiado, Marsabit, Narok, Mandera, Kwale and Taita Taveta Counties.

Atmosfair GmbH, as the finance body of the project, owns and sells carbon credits created from the use of the solar water desalination systems. Each of the WaterKiosk projects offsets 236 tons of CO2 per year, making a total of 9,440 tons per year for the entire project. The business sense is matched by the supply of quality water at an affordable cost to the most water security vulnerable communities in Kenya.

Maren Diale-Schellschmidt, Delegate of German Industry and Country Director of AHK Eastern Africa Ltd. stated at the launch that the initiative is a success story for AHK Eastern Africa. “Our office is responsible for Kenyan-German business relations. It is a proud day for us that this initiative was a consequence of a business delegation held two years ago. Plus, this innovation combines both German carbon emissions concerns with a need for access to safe drinking water in Kenya.”

Dr. Hamed Beheshti, CEO of Boreal Light ,explained that the project success relies heavily on simplicity. “We have invested for two years in simplifying the process specifically looking at the market conditions. This means that even the technology being implemented can be serviced easily by trained members of the communities being served. Some of these community members have only reached a level of education as high as a secondary school. Yet, they are able to service the technology effectively.” 

The chief guest of the event was, Kenya Water Trust Fund CEO, Ismail Fahmy M. Shaiye, who termed it as a “return of the music”. In an analogy, he described Germany’s development support of Kenya which saw Kenyans attain the knowledge but not market-focused technology. However, this initiative brings both technology and know-how together and puts it in the hands of Kenyans. Allowing them to dance to their own tune. A bold step away from development aid towards mutually beneficial business partnerships. “It is important that equipment from Europe be applicable to African needs. Boreal Light technology has been built with users in mind. Having been a child who was walked 3 kilometers just for a bath, I personally understand the importance of bringing such solutions to those with the most need.”

Back to newsroom