Impact of Project Intervention on Livelihoods To Date

Although the micro-hydro scheme has yet to be commissioned the process of community mobilisation and interaction with various institutions and organisations has already had effects on people's livelihoods. Confidence has increased and people are prepared to be involved in making decisions about issues affecting their lives. Furthermore, they have been proactive in instigating activities related to the scheme for the benefit of the community. The activities and outcomes to date are listed below:

  • Women have taken an active role in formal processes of decision-making for the first time, and are working alongside men. This development may have the wider effect of improving the gender balance in the community.

  • The community has organised itself to form a commercial development group, the Tungu Kabiri Micro Hydropower Project Management Committee, including women members.

    What do they already do/have/grow? What are their livelihoods like?

    This section looks at what life was like in the village before the micro-hydro project intervention.


    It takes an average of Ksh 2,500 (Kenyan Shillings) per year to send a child to primary school. Able to bear this cost, most people in Mbuiru have attained primary education. Those without formal education are mostly women over fifty. Despite the fact that adult education services are provided in the community, they are apparently not used. The study revealed that 7.8% of people have no formal education. Focus Group Discussions indicate that over 90% of people are literate, i.e. they can read and write English. A significant number are not, however, able to speak the language fluently. Only a small number of people pursue secondary education. Of those who do, at least 5% drop out. Typically, this is because families find school fees of around Ksh 30,000 per student per year unaffordable. This is shown in Figure 3. The average age that people leave secondary school is 16. They then tend to work as labourers, either in agriculture or for companies. Many girls take up employment in households outside the village. Less than 5% of the population goes on to attain a tertiary education. The majority of those people leave the area and find jobs in urban centres.

    Figure 2: Levels of formal education

  • 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