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Amber provides Kenyan school with planet-friendly energy

Net Zero Energy management consultancy, Amber, joined forces with Upendo Junior School in Kiminini, Kenya, to solve the issue of electricity access and power reliability. Through their not-for-profit arm, Power2Africa, and generous support from some of their clients, Amber raised £55,000 to fund a wide-ranging renewable energy project at the school.

Sunash Electricals Ltd designed and installed a roof-mounted system which was completed in August 2023. The project is set to be life-changing for pupils at Upendo Junior School and the wider community.

With the installation of solar panels, Upendo Junior School is now self-sufficient in terms of electricity, providing clean, reliable power to light up classrooms, ventilate facilities, and operate their computer lab. Their water pump, the only source of water for the school, is now solar-powered, significantly improving the sanitation of its facilities.

The impact of these projects extends beyond the school’s premises, creating new opportunities and access to improved facilities to the wider community. Upendo now generates extra energy, meaning the computer lab can operate beyond school hours, providing services to the community in the evenings and creating an additional source of income for the school. Moreover, the water pump supplies ample water to the school but also makes it accessible to the local community.

Upendo Junior School, in Kiminini, has struggled with intermittent electricity supply since it opened in 2008. The school of 400 students, relies on charitable funding and could only make irregular pre-payments for costly electricity to their electricity supplier. As a result, the school endured frequent blackouts, some lasting up to a week, hindering education and necessities for its students.

Professor Masibo Lumala, Founder and Director of the school, said: “On behalf of all of us here at Upendo Junior School, I would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for the generous contribution of solar panels by Power2Africa and Amber.

“The impact of this partnership cannot be overstated. Access to free electricity is changing our students’ lives and the lives of those within the community nearby. When I started the school, my goal was to ensure that all children in our community, regardless of their background, would have access to education and opportunity. This initiative aligns perfectly with our school’s commitment in enhancing the quality of life and opening opportunities for our students and our community.”

“We are immensely proud to partner with Upendo Junior School in this transformative project,” said Andrew James Walker, Commercial Director at Amber. “At Amber, we are committed to the potential of renewable energy in the UK but also have a clear vision for its ability to benefit wider communities. Our collaboration with Upendo reflects our commitment to initiating sustainable solutions and the chance to give schools the energy they need to improve educational outcomes in their region.”

Huw Mitchell, Strategic Partnerships Development Manager, also added: “It was also great to be able to bring together different parts of the Amber family on the Upendo School project. A number of our sporting partners, including the Welsh Rugby Union, Gloucester Rugby and Glamorgan, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire County Cricket Clubs, heard about what we were doing and wanted to get involved. With the help of our friends at DHL Express, we sent out a large box of sports kit which was gratefully received by the children in Kiminini.”

We are committed to accelerating energy access to support education in Africa and are building a pipeline of projects to fund. If you or your organisation would like to support us in increasing the impact we can make through projects like this one, please get in touch.

About Power2Africa

Power2Africa, the not-for profit arm of Net Zero Energy management consultancy, Amber, has a mission to provide underserved communities in Africa with free access to electricity. By partnering with schools and communities, Power2Africa commissions clean energy projects to bring access to free electricity, changing lives in the process. Funding for P2A projects comes from Amber’s own profits, as part of its B Corp commitment and from clients.

About Upendo Junior School

Upendo Junior School is a rural educational institution in Kiminini, Trans-Nzoia County in the Rift Valley, Kenya. Founded by Dr Masibo Lumala, who gave up his home and a few rental houses to start the school for displaced children, it relies on charitable funding to support its operations. Professor Lumala and his team are committed to improving the learning environment for its students and the wider community.

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