Lake Victoria Appeal
Help us bring electricity to Lake Victoria’s fishing communities
Lake Victoria is the second largest freshwater lake in the world, providing a source of income for almost 2 million people, and playing a crucial role in the economies of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Despite its importance, the area around its shores has become known as ‘the belt of poverty’.
Just 7.7% of fishing communities are supplied by electricity, with Kenya’s fishermen earning on average just £1.23 a day. Reports show that these communities have both the highest rates of malnutrition and HIV/AIDS in the region.
With no energy and limited opportunity, communities are trapped in a cycle of poverty. Yet there is a solution…
Energy Hubs – harnessing the power of the sun
Energy Hubs are community owned and managed solar microgrids, which provide electricity to families, business owners, and fishermen.
An Energy Hub can help alleviate poverty within the community by providing a clean, safe, and sustainable source of energy. With access to electricity:
- Fishermen can power freezers to chill and store fish, allowing them to demand a fair price for their catch.
- Families are able to light their homes without burning expensive and polluting kerosene lamps.
- New business opportunities open up – the electricity can be used to charge mobile phones, power electrical appliances, or stay open after dark. Crucially, this improves incomes and provides an alternative to fishing.
Since 2013, Renewable World has been working with fishing communities on the Kenyan shores of Lake Victoria, installing Energy Hubs and training community members how to use and maintain them. Helped by our local partners Osienala, FASCOBI, ACCESS and SteamaCo, and thanks to funding from Comic Relief, we have so far been able to install six Energy Hubs.
Please help us to provide electricity to more communities living on the shores of Lake Victoria in 2017.
Just £36 could give a family access to electricity for a year.
How access to electricity can change lives
Here are the stories of just three people whose lives have been transformed through access to clean energy.
Charles from Ng’ore: “Before the Energy Hub [solar microgrid] came here, I was a fisherman. But since it came, I got electricity and I now run a small business. I charge phones and in the evenings I show films. This has changed my life.” Read Charles’ full story here
Linet from Got Kachola: Linet’s hairdressing business has flourished since being connected to the Energy Hub. “Since power has come to my business, my profits have trebled. I can now use a hairdryer and charge more for this service. I also charge mobile phones for my clients while they wait, this has become an additional business for me. This is good for me and for them.” Read Linet’s full story here
Rose from Ragwe: Since being connected to the Energy Hub Rose has done away with her diesel generator, which was damaging her health, and she has seen the profits at her bar soar. “I used to have lots of chest problems because of the smoke [from the generator] but since the [solar] light I have not had any health problems.” Read Rose’s full story here
Helping more people access electricity in 2017
Access to energy can radically transform people’s lives, and Charles, Linet and Roses’ stories show just what is possible. But over 90% of fishing communities on Lake Victoria still do not have access to electricity. These are the people we want to help next year, but to do this, we need your help.
Over the next 18-months, we hope to reach 3,600 more people by installing a further six Energy Hubs along Lake Victoria’s shores, expanding into Tanzania in the process. But we can only do this with your support.
Please help us empower more people like Charles by giving them access to electricity.
How your gift can help
- £21 can help train someone like Charles to look after, maintain and carry out basic repairs to their community’s Energy Hub
- £36 can give a family access to electricity for a year
- £51 can pay for the wiring and fittings needed for a house to receive electricity for the first time
- £230 can buy a solar panel for an Energy Hub
- £307 can buy a solar battery, ensuring that electricity can be access day and night, even when the sun is not shining