What transport is available to them?

There are two earth roads linking the community to other parts of the District and the rest of the country. Chuka-Kaanwa-Tharaka road lies about 12 km from the village, while Chuka-Mitheru-Kaanwa road is approximately 17km away. Apart from the Chuka-Mitheru section, which is tarmac, both roads are extremely dusty in the dry season and become impassable when it rains. Poorly maintained, they quickly develop gullies and potholes. The local County Council and Ministry of Public Works are said to be responsible for maintenance.

What's their housing like?

Mbuiru residents have used a variety of materials in the construction of their housing. Forty percent have used exclusively mud for walls. Thirty percent used wood and the remainder used stone. Everyone used iron sheets for the roofs of their houses. All respondents were concerned about the high cost of erecting stone or wooden houses, which are regarded as superior to traditional mud. Two third of houses have less than 5 rooms

The potential market for a successful business venture is huge - The Tharaka region has several hundred thousand inhabitants, with Meru itself over 100,000.

Micro-hydro electricity

Before you begin

Web References

Background to Kenya

The Mbuiru Community

Practical possibilities for small scale enterprise



Vulnerable Groups



Energy Supply





Potential markets

Existing small enterprises

Design possibilities