After moving to Kenya there are a few low-budget affordable things I immediately got my hands on when I moved here. When in Kenya, do as the Kenyans! It saves you hauling tons of huge bottles of water to your car and definitely makes the gas cylinder last a lot longer. Others are just fun like the Jiko. These are a few things I cannot live without in Kenya and made my life a whole lot easier. Absolutely comment with things that changed your life in Kenya. Love to hear all about it!
instead of bottled water
Nairobi’s water supply is drinkable from the tap but I wouldn’t recommend it. Instead of buying oodles of these big bottles of water and a water cooler. Why not get a Mtungi, literally Water Jar, a large terracotta water container which not only filters the water but also keeps it cool. Comes in many models and sizes. Water shortage can be frequent in Nairobi and even more so in the rest of Kenya; having your own ready to drink water is a benefit. It is also a greener solution to the plastic bottles.
At home we boil the water and then pour it through a cotton napkin into the Mtungi. It’s not a requirement but it eliminates any possible risks if there is any and it sieves out any remaining dust in the water. The filters (candles) will last way longer. When buying the Mtungi it was recommended to change the filters every three months but this is rather silly, once a year is really good enough.
A coal fueled stove you can’t live without
Developed as a fuel-efficient alternative to open fires the Jiko is everywhere. This coal fueled little stove is surprisingly powerful and besides cooking is a great source of heat. Many developments have been made in the last few years among which the energy-saving versions like Jiko Poa saving up to 30% on fuel thanks to the rocker science behind it. Coal is available anywhere on the road sides. We use it mainly when we have a BBQ or Koroga and as a back up on camping trips for the gas cylinder. How to Koroga? https://madsmovesinkenya.wordpress.com/2016/12/31/do-you-koroga/
Kenyas all purpose hacker
This affordable little hacker is Kenya’s version of a Swiss army knife. From cutting anything from branches to flowers, using it in the garden while planting the Panga is indispensable in daily life. Available anywhere from the roadside to department store Nakumatt at an affordable price almost everyone in Nairobi already owns one or should get one. You know you’re in Kenya when you are buying Pangas and Nail polish at the same store.
Cooking in half the time, using less gas? yes please!
If I had to guess which part of the world has the highest density of pressure cookers I would go with India but Kenya is up there I’m sure. Now most of the Kenyans or long time residents are going to snicker a little when reading this because this seems like an obvious thing to have in your household that it’s almost silly to add it to a list. We love our pressure cookers. India’s great brands like Vinod are available in Kenya everywhere. Not only because it saves time, it also extends the use of the gas cylinder. It’s another way to be a little more green while living here. Once you have used a pressure cooker you do not want to go back and finding one is as easy as buying bananas. Small aluminum varieties sell for under and around 2000 Ksh so really worth a try. For those who fear the idea of the building pressure inside the pan and envisioning exploding lids and inferno. This does not happen….No….not to worry.
Solar Lights and Torches
Not only for light in dark times
With regular power outages having solar lights on hand is not a luxury but a necessity. Available at all possible stores and even gas stations it is not hard to come by. The larger Nakumatt outlets have quite a selection at a very reasonable price point. I was a little skeptical when I bought a few at around the equivalent of 12USD. So far they have lasted me for a long time now. Never leave home on a trip without it. Some places like Fishing Lodge in Aberdare only have the kerosene lamps as a light source which comes with an insufferable fume. In that case it’s good to bring your own. The other benefit is that some have an option to charge your phone. Safety wise, at home or out and about this is always very important to me.
If this was helpful to you, you might also like this post https://madsmovesinkenya.wordpress.com/2016/12/15/tips-from-kenya-to-battle-food-pests-naturally-and-toxin-free/