Kinabi in eastern Uganda is the 19th solar village of the Solar Energy Foundation in East Africa. 100 households now have a basic supply of solar energy.
The new solar village was realised in cooperation with the Ugandan cooperative Sendea. The solar village was installed by the Ugandan solar company Access 2 Solar, which is also responsible for maintenance. The solar village was made possible by the donation of the German solar company Phoenix Contact.
The concept of the solar village project
The Stiftung Solarenergie provides all households with a basic solar power supply at a subsidised price as a start-up aid: it consists of 2-3 LED lamps and the possibility of charging mobile phones. The price to be paid by the households is based on what poorest families in the village can pay. This is to ensure that each family receives a basic electricity supply.
The solar system is paid for in monthly instalments over a period of 6 to 12 months. The people use the system and instead of paying for kerosene they now pay for solar power. Once the installments are paid, the solar systems become the property of the families.
Impact 1: Change in daily live for the inhabitants of a solar village:
- Improved work situation: Work can be done even after dark.
- Health: Neither harmful fumes nor CO2 emissions from kerosene lamps or diesel generators are generated.
- Education: Children can use the time after dusk for their homework. Adults also have the opportunity to continue their education in the evening hours.
- Safety: The villagers feel safer thanks to outdoor lighting on the houses and public buildings.
- Better health care: Lighting and refrigeration for medicines create a significant improvement in health care for local residents.
- More educational opportunities: Improved teaching and lesson facilities for the teachers, who can now prepare their lessons in the evening hours. In reading and writing courses in the evening, adults have the opportunity for further education.
- Higher income opportunities: New sources of income are opened up and migration from the village is reduced.
Impact 2: Promotion of local solar handicraft / creation of jobs
In addition, the solar villages also serve to promote a local solar trade. Cooperation with a local company is therefore essential for implementation. In addition to installation, this company also takes care of maintenance and service in the following years. As a rule, this is done with the support of trained helpers from the village itself.
Since all households receive only a basic supply of solar power within the framework of the foundation project, the solar company is also the first point of contact for the residents when it comes to expansions and additional requirements.
In many solar villages, public buildings (schools, health stations, churches) received solar energy in addition to the households. Sustainable success was ensured by having local technicians responsible for maintenance and service on site. The inhabitants pay a monthly lump sum for the maintenance costs.
The Solar Energy Foundation first realised the concept of solar villages in 2005. The largest solar village is the village of Rema in Ethiopia with 6,000 inhabitants.