In our Questions from the Crowd series, we address questions from crowdinvestors about our projects and business model in open blog articles. Got a question? Write to us here.

Question from a crowdinvestor

(Paraphrased) Flower farming around Lake Naivasha has been said to have a negative impact on the lake’s water levels and ecosystem. Can you tell me what Rift Valley Roses is doing to combat this? 

Rift Valley Roses’ response:

Rift Valley Roses is situated around 10km from Lake Naivasha and 400 meters higher, on the shoulder of the Aberdare mountain range. Consequently, the farm does not use any water from the lake for production of its flowers.

Where does the farm gets its water from?

Rift Valley Roses has built four lagoons with a capacity of 83,000 m3, which store the rainwater and run-off from the greenhouses and storm drains. The farm plans to increase this storage to a capacity of 290,000 m3, which will also be entirely collected from rain and run-off water. This project is conjunction with neighbouring flower farm LiveWire and will be completed in 2021.

Rift Valley Roses
Rift Valley Roses sits 400m above Lake Naivasha

The farm also obtains groundwater from a metered borehole and takes measures to use its water as efficiently as possible. It is also accredited by the Kenya Flower Council, which works with flower farms to ensure sustainable land and water use.

Water levels at Lake Naivasha

Although Rift Valley Roses does not use any water from Lake Naivasha, we can also share some information regarding influencing factors and management initiatives.

The water levels in Lake Naivasha are largely governed by the inflow from underground streams fed from the Aberdare Mountains; consequently, they have risen considerably in the past 4 months due to high rainfall on the mountains. One of the main risks to long term water levels will be changing rainfall patterns on the Aberdares due to climate change. By moving to solar energy and cutting CO2 emissions, Rift Valley Roses is helping to fight against global warming.   

The farm is KFC certified, ensuring sustainable practices and good working conditions.

To manage direct impact of human activity on the lake, the Kenya Flower Council (KFC) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) undertook a project called the Integrated Water Resources Action Plan Programme (IWRAP) between 2013 and 2016, which measured water levels and use with the aim of creating a system of sustainable water resource management in the Naivasha Basin. The project was a success, creating a strong foundation for sustainable development in the area. Find out more here.

A 75 kWp solar system for Rift Valley Roses is currently being financed by crowdinvestors on the ecoligo.investments platform. Private investors can invest from 500€ and receive attractive returns over a fixed period. The project will support sustainable development by cutting the farm’s energy costs and saving 68.18 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. Find out more about the project here.

ecoligo provides a fully financed solar-as-a-service solution for businesses in emerging markets. With a complete digital platform for financing and delivering solar projects, ecoligo removes the barriers that prevent such projects from being realised. Supplying businesses with affordable electricity enables them to grow and boost the local economy. Find out more at ecoligo.com.

Photos: Rift Valley Roses

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