This story about Massai women in Kenya installing solar panels to replace wood and kerosene for energy is just as revolutionary as Tesla’s Powerwall and Solar Impulse 2’s attempt to make the first solar-powered flight.
Green Energy Africa and the ‘Women and Entrepreneurship in Renewable Energy Project’ are teaching Maasai women to install solar panels. The women transport the solar panels on the backs of donkeys and sell them to households at a small profit to provide clean energy for themselves and neighbouring Kenyans.
Most of Kenya is not connected to the national grid. Many rural areas have traditionally relied on wood fires for light and kerosene transported over long distances to generate power. ‘The Renewable Project’ is proving solar power is an effective, affordable and sustainable source of lighting and electricity.
Other positive side effects of the project are a slowing of the destruction of forests in Kenya and the empowering of Massai women in what has been a patriarchal culture traditionally.
More than 2,000 households have installed solar panels since the project began. It really is revolutionary. Instead of trekking 15 km to the closest facility for charging the family’s mobile phone it can be done in situ with solar power.
Reliable and fume-free lighting powered by solar energy is also more effective, cleaner, healthier and less labour intensive than burning wood fires burning through the night to keep communities and livestock safe from leopards, hyenas and other predators.