Climate Change Resilient Geothermal Production In Eburru And Olkaria, Nakuru County, Kenya

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Karanja, Joseph
Ngare, Innocent
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Climate change is inevitable for years to come. This reality dictates that development paths should build social, economic and ecological resilience for sustainability to be attained. In Kenya, 70 % of total formal employment is from natural resource sectors. This paper focused on technological inadequacies in the course of geothermal production in Olkaria and Eburru geothermal sites which are fragile ecosystems. The physical and chemical characteristics of waste geothermal fluids, physical and chemical properties of rain water were analyzed as well as gaseous emissions from the plants. Simple random sampling and purposive sampling were used in determining samples. Focused group discussions, interviews, observation guides and key informant were used to collect data. Most of the data was collected from Kengen for a five year duration between 2011 and 2015. 81 wells were sampled out for analysis. Analysis was done using Statistical Package of Social Sciences. One sample t- test was integral in comparing averages of observations against recommended national standards. The results indicated that waste geothermal fluids were unsuitable for discharge into the environment. Apart from this, rain water at geothermal sites was acidic due to emission of gases. More so, geothermal exploration undermined quality of underground water and could not be used for recreation. The flash system of production had inherent inadequacies that resulted in imposing the characteristics of geothermal formations to the surrounding. The gases emitted exceeded the maximum values permissible for controlled zones. The ideal situation would contain the waste fluid in a closed loop system so as to minimize its interaction with the surrounding. The results were integral in informing resilient pathways that could facilitate climate compatible development which in essence would bolster climate change resilience.
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Climate Change, Resilience, Geothermal, Development, Flash System
Imperial Journal of Interdisciplinary Research (IJIR) Vol-2, Issue-12, 2016