Lay Volunteers International Association (LVIA)

Lay Volunteers International Association (LVIA) is piloting access to innovative applications of solar energy for off-grid milk pasteurisation and cooling to generate sustainable livelihoods in climate-vulnerable pastoral regions of Northern Kenya.

Isiolo County in Northern Kenya is experiencing acute impacts from climate change, and the increasing unpredictability of rainfall has pushed many ecosystems into drought. In a bid to safeguard their livelihoods and income, Borana pastoralists have widely adopted camels as livestock, as they are a particularly drought‐tolerant species. As a result, camel milk is no longer just the dietary mainstay of subsistence herder households, but it has also now become a highly marketed commodity, increasingly linking pastoralists to rapidly growing and commercially thriving urban centres.

With support from PREO, Lay Volunteers International Association (LVIA), in collaboration with its local partners, will test the potential for introducing innovative applications of solar energy for off‐grid milk pasteurisation and cooling in order to generate sustainable livelihoods for pastoralists. Through this project LVIA aims to achieve the following key objectives:

  • Improve traditional camel milking practices, fresh milk handling processes, bulking processes and primary trading activities.
  • Set up a network of solar‐powered milk processing facilities and intermediate cold hubs, cooperatively run by women in the community.
  • Establish a solar‐powered cold chain for transport and preservation of high-quality camel milk to the milk distribution hubs of Isiolo town.
  • Develop a marketing strategy to access high‐end markets in Nairobi.