Fixing West Africa’s Electricity Issue Through Solar Power
With close to 1 billion people in the world with poor or no access to the electricity grid, over 700 million of them are in sub-Saharan Africa. Even for those with access to the grid, it is still impossible to rely on as there are multiple power cuts a day. Indeed, the lack of power affects education, health and business, making it extremely difficult for most to lead a peaceful life. Fortunately, Lumos solar home systems allow those living in the region to improve their life quality through an affordable, reliable and safe power solution.
A recent study revealed that students rated limited lighting as one of their top challenges as it limits their opportunities to learn and do homework. In the case of Nigeria, the sun can set as early as 6PM, meaning that after dark, children are unable to study safely at home. Indeed, generators produce dangerous fumes and are very noisy, making it difficult for children to focus and uncomfortable for them to be around. This leads to some children leaving the safety of their own homes to try and find a reliable source of power to work by.
Therefore, electric lighting is a fundamental element to helping children to finish their homework during the hours of darkness in the safety of their own homes. Fortunately, with solar home systems, children are able to study on average an extra 20 minutes a day, all by staying in their homes and without putting their lives at risk by inhaling generator fumes.
As well as education, traditional generators produce dangerous fumes that irritate the eyes and lungs, negatively impacting users in their own homes. According to a recent report, 48% of solar home system users noticed improvements in their health after they switched from generators to solar power.
On a broader level, electricity is also essential to any health sector in the world. In countries where home births are frequent, reliable power is fundamental to making conditions as favourable as possible. Indeed, solar home systems allow users to not have to rely on their generators but instead have clean light. Furthermore, with Lumos they can also run a fan, a necessity in locations where heat is part of daily life.
Solar home systems can also help small businesses to power their activities by helping activities to run smoothly, without unwarranted interruptions. Indeed, certain business owners can only operate during the hours of light as the grid is either unreliable or nonexistent. For example in Côte d’Ivoire, 33% of the population doesn’t have access to the grid whilst in Nigeria, 46% live off it. This means that even if they have more to do, they are unable to continue in the way they want to. As a result, from bars to restaurants and from shops to kiosks to barbers, 18% of solar home systems customers report that they use the power for income-generating activities.
The Power of Solar
Reliable and clean power is vital to leading a lifestyle in the best conditions possible. Lumos is proud to offer this opportunity to millions of people living off the grid and where their access is not constant. This allows them to take more control over how they live, giving them the choice of how they spend their time and peace of mind.