MAGIRO HYDRO ELECTRIC POWER
NEED: Mihuti village in Murang’a County is like any other rural village in Kenya. Households still use kerosene lamps for lighting and fuel wood for cooking. Since most residents practice subsistence farming they have low disposable incomes. To meet their energy needs, villagers use the little money they have to buy kerosene while firewood is harvested from nearby forests.
Tired of seeing his mother struggle to purchase kerosene at Kes 80 daily, 24 year old, John Magiro came up with a solution. Having been interested in electronics from a tender age, Magiro identified a potential hydroelectric source from a river near his home.
AVENUE TO MEET NEED: Magiro made Kes 6,000 from the sale of rabbits and goats which he reared on a small scale basis. He used the proceeds to set up a mini hydro power plant using old bicycle parts and simple motors.
INNOVATION: Mini hydro power plant that utilizes old bicycle parts and simple motors.
IMPACT: Magiro started by charging his neighbors mobile phones, and as word spread more villagers wanted to be connected to the ‘grid.’ To date Magiro has connected at least 77 households to electricity.
NETFUND EFFECT: Magiro joined the NETFUND Incubation Program in 2015 after winning first place in the NETFUND Green Innovations Award- Individual category. He has so far received business training from Daystar University, mentorship and coaching from technical experts who have also helped refine his technology.
Magiro has received seed funding that has enabled him to install a generator, turbine, control system, pressure pipe, stabilizer, power line cables, transformer, d-iron and posts. This improvement is expected to see Magiro increase his customer base to at least 266 households, one industry and two schools by 2022.
As part of providing linkages, the NETFUND Incubation program has provided Magiro with additional funding from the East African Hub Grant from the Pollination Project. Additionally, Magiro is part of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program (TEEP) 2016. Magiro also got an opportunity to pitch his innovation to over 50 investors at the NETFUND Investors Forum in May 2016.