Posted by Ken Crites on Apr 19, 2017

Over the past seven months, Rotarians Ken Puzey, Nicola Elkins and Phillip Bosen traveled to Kisumu Kenya to further advance efforts to deliver safe drinking water to the people of Kenya.

In November of 2016, Ken and Phil visited Kisumu to kick off the purchasing of raw materials for additional solar boiler panel construction.  The Safe Water Project was able to buy materials due to a very generous donation from the Canadian Rotary District 7040, which Nicola helped lead. The generous donation will lead to the production of 260 solar water biolers at a cost of $77 each.  

(From left to right: Ken Puzey of Burlington Sunrise RC,  Allen Abol the President of the Maseno, Kenya RC, and Phillip Bosen of Burlington Sunrise RC)


The November trip had many accomplishments.  A new steel supplier was found and the project was able to purchase new steel sheets.  Production steps were changed to use a water cutting system for cutting the sheet metal.  The improved water cutting system reduces cutting errors and deliver rounded, safe edges.  The project also acquired other key parts such as threaded rods and nuts.  The Vermont-based office of Fastenal (the largest fastener distributor in North America) also donated important slip rings, which were delivered with the November visit.
Also during the November visit, Ken and Phillip visited with the Maseno, Kenya Rotary Club.  The Maseno Club has committed two volunteers to help train the the solar panel boiler workers with selling tactics and basic business mentoring.   Remember, the solar panel boilers are being sold, not donated.  But the price is much lower, and involves far less work, than acquiring wood.
In April, Ken returned to Kisumu, this time accompanied by Nicola Elkins of the Westmont Quebec Rotary Club.  The April trip was necessary to start the process of finding a new factory space, acquiring more materials as well as having a second meeting with Kenya's NGO Board.  Ken and Nicola made sure the local facility had the new proper new materials.  They also revisited with partners in the Maseno Rotary Club to further discuss business training for the local solar boiler team.  Ken and Nicola then met with the newly hired aged-out orphans to further discuss training and manufacturing.  Finally, Nicola and Ken set up the proper local bank accounts, co-signed by local authorities.
Ken and Nicola also attended the Kenya District 92 conference meeting, which was held in Kisumu, in their honor.  
Ken also met again with local government licensing agent for NGO's and met with the board of the partner NGO which will enable the project to lease boilers in Kenya.
Plans are now set to aid ~2,000 Kenyans with the production of new solar water boilers.  Below are some pictures from the April visit:
(Ken training factory workers to produce the solar water boilers)
(From left to right: Nicola Elkins from Westmount RC;  Anne Atieno Ombewafrom, the Asst. Governor, Kisumu Winan Rotary Club; Ken Puzey from Burlington Sunrise Rotary Club; and Kenix from Kenya's NGO coordination board.)
(Ken delivering the recent District donation to Richard Onono, the project primary contact in the area and a member of the Maseno, Kenya Rotary Club)
(A factory worker at the Kisumu facility bends the reflective panel for use in a solar water boiler.  He is one of many aged-out orphans working at the facility)
(Kenix, Ron, Ken and Nicola at the Rotary District Meeting in Kisumu)