Villages in Kenya, Africa are lighting up their houses in sustainable fashion thanks to women from the Maasai tribe – a semi-nomadic tribe in East Africa – and Green Energy Africa. Because there is a huge need for solar energy in the country, the program is providing the women with solar products – energy efficient lights, panels, and rechargeable batteries – and teaching them how to install the equipment in homes and villages.
Not only is the initiative providing the Maasai women a bit of extra income, it’s allowing those who presently have no access to the country’s power grid access to light at night.
This is beneficial for many reasons: In Kenya, more than half of the population is living too remotely to connect to the country’s power grid. By installing solar power, people no longer have to burn firewood or kerosene to light their homes at night. It also means that children have an easier way to read or do homework in the evening without inhaling smoke.
In addition, installing solar saves families quite a bit of time and money. Some Kenyan households spend 40 cents a day on kerosene or hours in the wilderness gathering or cutting firewood. Others already pay a dollar a week to charge cell phones at nearby charging stations – which are often miles away.
The benefits don’t end there: solar lamps can also light up livestock pens, scaring away hyenas and wild cats that threaten their cattle and goats.
Using donkeys to haul the equipment, the women venture door-to-door, hoping families might ‘see the light’ and be inspired to harvest energy from the sun.
The initiative isn’t just providing clean, renewable energy, it’s enabling everyone to pursue a path to economic freedom. Women in the Maasai tribe don’t have the right to own property in their culture or inherit anything, so working with Green Energy Africa is providing them a much-need source of income. And families that opt to install solar now will experience benefits from the investment later on in life.
So far, about 200 tribal women have installed solar power units in more than 2,000 homes.
Watch the video above by CCTV Africa (above) to learn more.
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