Millions of people in rural areas around the country do not have access to electricity for lighting. Young Women In Farming (YOWIF) has developed an innovative solution driven by three key principles that are a result of years of living with an off-grid situation. First, service-oriented solutions offer a sustainable approach to lighting for those with limited access to capital. Second, organizations must work with communities to create self-sustaining micro-enterprises in order to ensure future development. Third, reliability is one of the most important traits of appropriate technology.
By adhering to these three principles, the Sustainable Energy Access Programme (SEAP) offers a safe, bright, clean, reliable, and affordable alternative to the use of kerosene for lighting in the poorest off-grid/underserved communities. Moreover, the access to mobile phone charging ensures greater village connectivity.
Description of Solar lantern placement/operation
System 1 – Solar Lantern Rental System (SLRS) The Solar Lantern Rental System SLRS is based on a centralised charging station which consists of one large solar panel (including mounting frame), one charging unit which contains a storage battery, a varied number of charge connectors, a charge controller to regulate the system, and 20 to 50 lanterns. The charging station is ideal for villages, communities and centralized populations. This system represents a sustainable solution that ensures a proper use and maintenance of the installation via the creation of a micro enterprise in each village.
Every rental cycle, the system provides the user with variable hours of lantern operation (dependent on brightness level) or equivalent use of a mobile phone charger, radio, or any other 5 V device that can be charged from the USB charging socket on the lantern. After this time the lantern’s battery will be depleted.
Once the lantern has been used for the operable hours the user must take it to the Village Technician, who operates the charging station. For a small fee, a used lantern can be exchanged for a charged one. The Village Technician keeps part of this money in exchange for running the micro enterprise and the rest goes into the lantern maintenance fund for the future replacement of components (mainly batteries).
Mrs Believe Obafaiye YOWIF Executive Director, introducing off-grid ikere rural women farmers to sustainable energy access program.
This project is Supported by Melania women foundation, with technical assistance from lifelight renewable energy hub.
Cross section of participating off-grid ikere rural women farmers