Basecamp Foundation has for the last few months been distributing solar panels to the villagers around the Mara Naboisho Conservancy in an effort to make use of renewable energy and put a stop to the use of kerosene lamps commonly used in the Masai homesteads. The kerosene lamps are known to contribute to the high occurrence of respiratory and eye problems especially among the children due to poor ventilation in their traditionally built houses.
In March 2011, 6 Masai women returned to Kenya having spent 6 months in India undertaking a solar engineering practical course in basic solar engineering at the Barefoot College in India. The 6 illiterate women set out to learn the skills in a place far from home where they could not communicate with the course facilitators as they do not communicate in English and had to make do with sign language and colour coding. The women who came from 5 villages are now the celebrated solar engineers and have been busy installing solar panels on the roofs of their houses and those of their neighbours at a nominal fee agreed upon between the village energy committee and the villagers. The exercise is targeting 200 households per villager subject to availability of the equipment and the ability of the villagers to cost-share in the purchase of the equipment procured by Basecamp Foundation from India. For the amount every family is contributing to off-set the cost of the solar panel through a micro credit facility of up to 12 months, Basecamp Foundation is contributing an equal share.