Empowering half a million Africans to improve health, education and economy starts with $1
A global not-for-profit organisation called INTASAVE Energy is fulfilling its vision for every person on the planet to have access to clean power through the launch of its innovative Solar Nano Grids (SONGs) project, which kick-starts in November.
The first grid in Africa will be installed in Lemolo B in Kenya, a community of about 250 people, and the project will subsequently expand to over 500 communities across Kenya, South Africa and Mozambique, transforming the lives of 500,000 people within three years.
To raise funds for the project, INTASAVE Energy has set up a not-for-profit crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo where anyone in the world can make a contribution. Contributions with rewards from as little as $1 will help Kenyan families in off-grid communities be able to mill corn, incubate chickens, run water pumps and manage micro enterprises, in a clean and sustainable way using SONGs.
Kenya was chosen as an ideal starting point in Africa because it has 30 million people (75% of the population) without electricity, 95% of whom are located in off-grid rural areas, which are simply not viable for the larger solar installations.
SONGs reduce greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating the use of kerosene for lighting and diesel for power generation. School children doing their homework will face less health risks to eyes and lungs as solar power removes the need for kerosene lamps in the home. SONGs also open up micro-enterprise opportunities that will help rural communities become self-sustaining, by providing power for small-scale industrial activity such as milling corn, incubating chickens for breeding, battery charging, refrigeration, copper welding and businesses like hair salons and internet hubs.
INTASAVE Energy is working with local communities, national and regional partners identifying hundreds of appropriate locations for the SONGs using a range of technical, geographical, socio-economic and livelihood criteria.
Speaking on the project, Dr Murray Simpson, Senior Visiting Fellow, University of Oxford, Department of Engineering Science, and Chief Executive Officer of INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE Group, said: “Our approach is scalable, sustainable and recognises the real world needs and desires of people. It’s not a short-term fix or a handout, it’s genuinely empowering people to make their lives better. It is vitally important to us that each installation becomes a self-sustaining beneficial enterprise for the families and the local communities and this is why our project is going to succeed where other attempts have struggled to deliver.”
The INTASAVE Energy Indiegogo campaign is now live. All project backers will be recognised with a ‘perk’, ranging from information packs to a team-building trip to Kenya. Contributions can be made here.
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