A spa is a location known for its mineral rich water that is sometimes used for medicinal baths. KenGen geothermal recreational health spa is the first natural spa in Africa, powered directly by energy from the ground. Gaining fame in the past five years due to its medicinal value, hundreds of tourists visit the centre every week. The facility was set up because the company’s geothermal plants are located in the Hell’s Gate national park, which are a major tourist’s attraction and also the easy access to the spa from Nairobi city.
The facility was born out of the need to explore other uses of geothermal energy. Once the steam has been used for electricity generation, the by-product is put into good use yet again.
Peketsa Mangi, Chief consultancy and Research Officer, says that other than the obvious aesthetic additions, the leisure centre will add value to the Hell’s gate national park giving tourists more environment friendly activities to engage in.
Mangi adds that the hot brine in the spa contains antibacterial chemicals that heal skin diseases and rashes. It also contains Sulphur which is said to be a beautifying mineral. However it is yet to undergo authentic scientific tests to confirm its beauty benefits.
The facility which is yet to be fully operational is set to have lagoons (pools), steam rooms, sauna, conference rooms and cottages. Before the water reaches the pool, it is cooled twice and there are terraces all round the pool, such that people cannot risk drowning, there is level for everyone to be comfortable in.
Some years to come, the company is planning to set up a vegetable farm that will help to show farmers how to use brine to increase their yield. Given that the local community is adopting modern farming very fast this idea will attract a lot of interested people. Ken Gen seeks to promote optimization of geothermal resource utilization in the region.
Additionally, after the facility is fully operational, more uses of geothermal resources will include, green house heating, fish farming and industrial extraction of minerals.