One man from Murang’a county has become the light of his village after he built a power plant from scratch to connect his community to affordable electricity – John Magiro Wangari uses
water to spin turbines, which in turn spin an alternator to generate the electricity – He says he has connected 250 homes in his village and plans to double
the number by building mini-hydro plants in different counties. The government has reportedly taken note of the young man’s rural electrification initiative and offered to support him.
When he was seven years old, John Magiro Wangari,
like many of his fellow villagers, had to use kerosene
lamp to study. It was not only expensive, but also harmful to health. He decided to do something about it.
The young school boy (then) started toying with
the idea of using his brother’s bicycle’s dynamo to produce energy. He pondered over how the dynamo worked to produce light while riding the bicycle. “I decided to combine the dynamo with an alternator from a car and took it to a waterfall. When the water spins the turbine, the turbine in turns spins the alternator, which then produces energy,” Wangari
explained. John Magiro Wangari built his own mini-power plant using water and turbines and currently provides electricity to his entire village.
Wangari saw this as the only way he could address the challenge of using Kerosene lamps, which posed many people to respiratory diseases as noted by
health experts. As of today, he has built a fully functional mini power plant and connected 250 homes in Murang’a county with affordable electricity. Among those who have benefited from Wangari’s self-made hydro-power include his village mate Shem Chege.
According to Shem Chege, who is currently one of Wangari’s customers, the rural electricity has had a huge impact in his house. “It has helped us a lot. Back then I was using kerosene as source of light and for reading. Now I use the electricity to read and the children use it to do their homework,” Chege said.
Wangari uses turbines and water to generate the renewable and affordable energy. The government has since taken note of the life-changing rural electrification initiative and has offered to support Wangari’s project. “They wanted to reward me for
the renewable power plant. They gave me two transformers so that I could grow my business and sell affordable electricity to the villagers,” Wangari said.
He now plans to double the connection from 250
homes in his village by building sub micro-hydro
plants in other counties. His aim, he said, is to transform the community from within.