Solar systems for Africa - households, schools, hospitals use the SUNBOX
700 million people in Africa have no access to electric energy. For only 0.08 usd per day, people can benefit from solar and LED lighting technology, the equivalent to one tenth of the cost of burning candles*.
For only 1.30 usd per day, people can benefit from solar powered TV, fridges and LED lighting technology, the equivalent to one eights of using a diesel/petrol generator.
* the present cost of candle lighting is 0.80 usd (3 candles a night).
* the present cost of runing a diesel/petrol generator for a clinic, school or house with TV, fridge and lighting is 10 usd per day
We visited the town of Muchenga, that is part of the circle of ‘Massacre Wiriamu, which is 26 km from the city of Tete the capital of this province. If you want to relive the history of Mozambique and the native life of African inhabitants, Wiriamu constitutes a reference point.
The locals still preserve the customs and traditions of his predecessors. For instance, houses are poorly made from local materials. The main activities are agriculture, livestock, fishing, hunting in order to try and escape from the nomadic life they had lead until now. In this village, we found the family José Sózinho, living in a household of 60 people, from Grandparents, Parents, children and grandchildren, all dividing one living space.
We tried to learn about their daily routine, and we were informed that the days are divided between farming, hunting, grazing and small businesses, in this case, sale of livestock, maize, sorghum and some basic necessities. Regarding electricity supply to this village they were told that there have been always promises that one day electricity would come to his village, lighting it up. But until now it has not happened. This has lead this family to just live with anxiety, looking at the power lines exporting electricity from their land to distant places like South Africa as Wiriamu is in the province that hosts the Cahora Bassa hydro-electric dam.
Regarding telecommunication, Wiriamu is not isolated from the mobile phone technology and from the world, as it is located in the highlands of the province, and many people have benefited from these services. We questioned them about how they go about charging the cell phones batteries: It is an authentic martyrdom, we must be dependent on who goes to town. This happens once a week or else we put together all cell phones and delegate someone to go by bicycle until the closest city to recharge our batteries. There is a high cost for the phone charging as they have to pay for the charging and the transport to the city.
Another issue was the time of day when they cook their dinner: Usually the wives have to put the dinner table before 19 hours and sometimes sooner for the children. By nightfall there has not been much family contact because they all go to their small rooms. They cannot play a lot together during the day, because everyone has a job to do and are always away from each other. At sunset there is only enough time for a short conversation.
We were told that their children have low school grades as they cannot always study and submit their home work as they are very busy during the day and at night they can do nothing but to go to bed-Its the “lack of light ‘ they told us. Satisfaction was very high from our offer of a solar system (worth 100 USD). Many words were uttered as a gesture of gratitude and joy for the offer:
“Today we will sleep after 9pm !!.”
“Dinner will be done calmly!”
“We will save our money spent on purchase of oil and candles for lighting!”
“Our children will be able to play together and stay long after the sun goes down, and still do their homework given by teachers.”
That was our visit.
It was a happy family and with lighting and that from now on there will be changes in their lives.