Imagine the sun setting and plunging your house into darkness. You need light, but you can’t just flick a switch. Instead, you light a wick sitting in a dish of kerosene. As it burns you settle down with your children, you try to teach them to read. Huddled round the candle’s meagre light, you begin to feel dizzy. You’re sure the words didn’t look that fuzzy when you were younger.
In 2015 Renewable World launched the Mahogany project in Nicaragua – set to support six local enterprises with solar energy and bring 65 households out of energy poverty by providing them wiht home solar energy systems.
The project communities of Belen, Home Creek and Magnolia are extremely isolated, accessible only by boat up the River Escondido, and completely cut off from grid electricity. Households rely on kerosene lamps and diesel generators to light their home and there is a high reported incidence of fires caused by kerosene spills. This project will install 65 households with 60w home solar lighting systems and provide six enterprises with up to 500w energy systems over the next three years.
From early meetings with households and existing enterpirises the project team gained valuable insight into the most vital areas of need within the communities. A number of potential enterprises who could benefit from solar energy have already been identified, including a water treatment project which could provide filtered water for households, a cheese and dairy enterprise, and local small business owners, such as those who sell perishable foods.
In year two of the project, the final selection of enterprises will be completed and based on a set criteria and the installation of solar systems for both homes and enterprises will begin.
The Edith M Ellis 1985 Charitable Trust supports Renewable World in its valuable work in not only Nicaragua, but also Kenya and Nepal. For further information please go to http://www.renewable-world.org