Using donkeys to haul their equipment, groups of women in Kenya are going door to door, hoping villagers will see the light–and benefits–of adding renewable solar energy in their homes.
The solar house-calls are courtesy of a program launched by Green Energy Africa that is putting income into the pockets of women from the Maasai tribe, a semi-nomadic people of East Africa.
The company provides the women with solar products — energy efficient lights, panels and rechargeable batteries—and teaches them how to install the equipment in homes and villages.
There is a great need for solar energy in Kenya where more than half the population is living too remotely to connect to the country’s power grid.
Installing solar power means people no longer have to burn firewood or kerosene to light their homes and children can read or do homework without inhaling smoke. Solar lamps also can light up livestock pens, scaring away the hyenas and wild cats that threatened their cattle and goats.
It also saves money and time for Kenyan households that may spend 40 cents a day on kerosene or hours in the wilderness gathering or cutting firewood. Some already pay a dollar every week to charge cell phones at the nearest charging station miles away.
But the initiative provides more than clean, renewable energy. Green Energy Africa sells the equipment to the women at a discount, and the women in turn sell it for a profit.
A path to economic freedom for both the women–who don’t have the right to own property in their Maasai culture–and for those whose lives are changed by a clean, cheap energy source.
So far, about 200 tribal women have installed solar power units in more than 2,000 homes.
(WATCH the video below or READ more at Reuters) Photos: CCTV Africa, YouTube, and Facebook
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