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    By Lydia Gichuki

    Investing in a water tank can reduce a rural home’s water costs by two thirds, reduce water-borne diseases, and pay for itself within a year and a half: freeing up nearly Sh50,000 a year from then onwards to spend on other things, according to a FarmBizAfrica survey of water tank prices and of rural household water spending.

    In a normal year, Kenya’s rainy seasons run for most of five months, from March to May and again in October and November, yet most of the rainfall goes uncollected, leaving many households struggling to get water for basic use in the drier months. This is compounded by the unreliability of many water companies, which often supply water to households in rural areas only once or twice a week.

    As a result, according to the 2019 census by the Kenya Bureau of Statistics, only 34.2 per cent of Kenya’s households have access to piped drinking water.

    Indeed, according to Global Waters, only 58 per cent of Kenyans have access to drinking water at all, and only 30 per cent have access to basic sanitation. Additionally, 41 per cent of Kenyans rely on unimproved water sources, such as ponds, shallow wells and rivers, which are unsafe and unreliable, as most of these sources are open and seasonal.

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    As a result, many rural households are forced to buy 20-litre jerry cans of water for Sh20 each from water vendors. Yet, an average rural household of five people in Kenya consumes between 150 litres to 200 litres of water daily, for drinking and cooking and for chores such as house mopping, laundry, bathing and general hygiene, and if there is a flushing toilet that uses an additional 26 litres per flush.

    For one month, such a household will require 6,000 litres of water, costing up to Sh6,000 a month if bought in jerry cans from water vendors.

    The costs are lower for homes that are connected to large water companies. According to the Kiambu Water and Sewerage Company, 1,000 litres of water costs Sh65 plus a monthly meter maintenance fee of Sh250. If no meter is installed, a deposit of Sh1,000 and a meter installation fee of Sh500 is required.

    Thus, where a water company is reliable, the savings are only marginal through adding a water tank. But for any farm without tapped water, the savings are considerable, and for rural homes accessing water from open sources, tank water offers health benefits by reducing the chances of contacting disease such as amoeba and cholera.

    In terms of supply, 15,000 litres of rainfall can be collected by a household during a typical rainy season, depending on the type of roofing and gutters. Thus, for the five months of the two rainy seasons, a water tank will provide self sufficiency in water. With attention towards collection, it can also provide water for some weeks after the rains stop too.

    Based on prices collected by, it is possible to buy a 10,000 litre tank for Sh65,700. With optimum water collection and direction into the tank from the farm’s rooftops, this size of tank can cover a typical home’s needs for 8 months a year, saving up to Sh48,000 on jerry can water.

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    The Ministry of Water and Irrigation ádvises that such tanks need proper installation to increase their longevity .The tank should be placed on a plastered area referred to as plinth, which must be smooth to avoid tearing from the pressure and friction when water collects.

    The tap can either be at the bottom or on top and a wash out must be built to allow water to pour out. The first water collected from the rainfall must then be poured out to avoid consumption of dirt from the roof.

    Additionally, a shade should be built for the tank to ensure it does not get destroyed by the UV light from the sun.

    With these measures in place, a water tank should typically last for 20 years.

    Below are water tank companies and their prices


    Contact – 0733206378

    500 L     -    Sh4,500

    1,000 L   -   Sh8,000

    2,000 L   -   Sh12,700

    2,300 L   -   Sh15,000

    2,500 L   -   Sh17,000

    3,000 L.  -   Sh19,000

    4,000 L.  -   Sh28,200

    5,000 L.  -   Sh33,000

    6,000 L.  -   Sh40,000.

    8,000 L    -  Sh57,000.

    10,000 L  -  Sh65,700

    16,000 L  -  Sh140,000

    24,000 L  -  Sh240,000



    Contact: Phone: 020 3939000

    100 L- Sh1,650

    200 L- Sh2,300

    300 L- Sh3,450

    750 L- Sh8,000

    920 L- Sh8,875

    1,000 L  -  Sh9,125

    1,350 L  -  Sh11,875

    1,500 L  -  Sh12,940

    1,900 L  -  Sh14,500

    2,000 L  -  Sh16,250

    2,300 L  -  Sh16,875

    2,500 L  -  Sh18,437

    3,200 L  -  Sh27,500

    3,500 L  -  Sh28,125

    4,200 L  -  Sh33,750

    4,600 L  -  Sh36,750

    5,000L  -   Sh37,500

    8,000 L  -  Sh67,500

    10,000 L -  Sh87,500

    12,000 L -  Sh126,500

    15,000 L -  Sh170,500

    24,000 L -  Sh 86,000

    Photo; Tanks

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    By Christine Mwaura

    pulperKenya’s coffee production and yields increased in 2019 following the government and counties’ distribution of free tree seedlings. But the biggest cause of farmers’ flight from coffee has been prices too low for smallholders’ survival. However, value addition, by processing beans on the farm, can lift the value of small-hold coffee crops six-fold.

    In 2014, The Nation cited coffee farmer Grace Mwangi as processing the beans from 8 acres and earning over Sh30,000 per 50kg compared with little more than Sh5,000 for 50kg of raw beans. The kind of coffee pulper Grace was using can be bought for as little as Sh100,000, although the price depends on its size. But this kind of pricing makes coffee pulping an upgrade that pays for itself rapidly.

    Related News: Coffee fund launches pre-crop finance for smallholders

    According to the 2020 Economic Survey the average coffee yield in 2019 was 347 kgs per hectare, meaning that a single hectare’s crop would generate an extra Sh175,000 in just one season through being processed on the farm, covering the cost of a pulper with just one crop.

    Below are the contacts and prices being offered by some of the country’s leading suppliers of coffee pulp machines:


    Modtec Engineering Kenya

    Models: Jua Kali

    Price: Sh100,000 to Sh450,000, complete unit coffee pulping machine and yearly services,

    Features: High speed, single and double disk, manual, and electrical

    Contact: 0739211820


    Coffee Agriwork

    Models: locally made

    Price: Sh120,000 - Sh180,000

    Features: The primary unit has a capacity of 1,200KGS/HR of coffee cherry. Various model have up-to 5,000KG/HR of coffee cherry. Comes with either engine or electric motors. Uses petrol or electricity.

    Contacts: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    P.O. Box 64548-00620, Nairobi, Kenya

    0724738959, 0731803913


    McKinnon Machines Kenya

    Model: McKinnon from India

    Price: Sh130,000 - Sh6m depending on capacity

    Features: Min disk, Engine Motor, and manual

    Contacts: 0722957051, 0733957138


    Marina Machineries (K) Ltd.

    Models: Marina

    Price: Sh175,000 - Sh300,000

    Features: Multi disks

    Contacts: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    020541785, 020553272, 020556685

    0726155855, 0733635172, 0722857072


    Waynays Africa Ltd

    Models: Penagos from Colombia

    Price: Sh200,000 - Sh600,000

    Features: Single face Motor

    Contacts: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    P.O. Box 7556-01000 Thika

    0721202623, 0732922523.

    Bewa Plaza, Muindi Mbingu, Thika Town.

    Related News: Baringo farmers eye export market with 1.2 tonnes capacity coffee milling plant

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