Impacts of solar lamps in Africa

There are approximately 110 million off-grid households in Africa and in Sub-Saharan Africa only 9% of the rural population has access to electricity. An estimated 58.3 million of those without grid access are using kerosene to light their homes. In Kenya for example 92% of the population uses kerosene for lighting. However, kerosene is expensive, typically accounting for 10 – 15% of total household income. It is bad for people’s health and the World Bank estimates that breathing kerosene fumes is the equivalent of smoking two packets of cigarettes a day. If this wasn’t enough, a single kerosene lamp emits one tone of carbon dioxide over five years.

CO2balance’s long term vision upon realizing financing goals is to distribute 10,000 solar lamps to rural communities in Africa that are most at need. Moreover, there will be several significant impacts from this project across the environment, society, people’s health and the overall well-being.

The tables below present the significant impacts of the project such as 2,000 tco2e will avoided from being released to the atmosphere in each year.  In addition, a family in Kenya could saves £74 on average on kerosene use and young people can study 2 more hours per day.

solar lamps


Water Provision in Sub-Saharan Africa

Across the globe, around 780 million people lack access to safe water supplies, which equates to approximately one in eight (JMP, 2012). In Africa alone, around one third of the continent’s population are without access to clean water and UNICEF estimates that  over 1.5 million child deaths per year are caused as a result of drinking contaminated water (UNICEF/WHO, 2009).

Over the last few decades, rural water demand in developing countries has primarily been addressed through the large-scale implementation of decentralized water points such as boreholes and shallow wells. However, one of the major barriers to clean water provision is that many countries do not have the infrastructure, regulation or financial capacity to conduct maintenance and repair programs. In Africa, existing water points are generally owned by community groups or Village Health and Water Committee (VHWC’s) and more often than not fall into disrepair because maintenance schemes have been poorly managed, or prove too expensive.

To highlight the magnitude of the problem, approximately 35% of all boreholes (345,071) in Sub Saharan Africa are estimated to be dysfunctional-see table below (Rural Water Supply Network 2009)

borehole dataDespite millions of pounds being invested in new water infrastructure there is evidently a greater need to implement effective long-term water management programs that prevent existing water points from becoming damaged. CO2balance are currently exploring innovative new ways to tackle this problem through carbon finance, which could indeed provide a viable means of addressing water scarcity across the developing world.

“Proud of my energy efficient stove”

In Karindundu Village in Mathira meet a very cheerful elderly mother by the name Martha Wangari.
ZZZZZZZZZZZZIIIIIIIIIIIIIIShe lives with her husband in their farm. As she welcomes us to her homestead, she offers to prepare us some tea. She went out in her field around the homestead to collect some firewood. She was only out for a few minutes and she returned with only a small buddle of fire wood in her hand.

On seeing the amazement on our faces she smiles and says:
“hii kuni haiwezi pika chai ukitumia jiko yangu ya zamani. Lakini kwa hii jiko mpya,tutapika chai n a hii kuni haitamalizika” (She says if she were using her 3-stone stove, that amount of firewood would be barely enough to cook tea. But using the CZ stove, she will use the firewood and the buddle won’t be spent).

As we wait for the tea to be ready, the environment in the kitchen is fresh and free of smoke. She smiles happily and says:“ kama tungekua tunatumia jiko yangu ya zamani, mungekua mumeketi huko nje kwa sababu ya moshi” (She says, if she were using her old 3- stone stove, the environment in her kitchen would have been very uncomfortable due to a lot of smoke).

She continued to share with us how cooking was always a nightmare to her before she received the new CZK stove. She says that excess smoke caused her a lot of sneezing and coughing.
As we bid her goodbye, she also thanked the CZK Company for a life changing experience that she is always proud of.