Solar energy in Tanzania changes lives, saves environment

The Family Solar Energy was a new project intended to conserve the fast depleting environment, especially the forest cover, in Kilimanjaro Region to minimize excessive use of firewood as a source of cooking energy.

Some of the project beneficiaries at Kwatito Village, Ms Martina Patrick, Mr Raphael Mallya and Isack Kiria said that they are now spending less than 2,000/- per month on kerosene fuel as opposed to around 10,000/- per month before the project.

The UK-based Childreach International Tanzania has spent more than 1.5billion/- on programmatic activities countrywide over the last three years to improve education, environmental protection as well as poverty eradication. This was said in Moshi by the organization’s Programme Officer, Mr George Humba, in an interview on how the project enriched societies in the country. For example, Mr Humba said, as part of the environmental protection, the organization has managed to distribute over 400 solar cookers to families residing in several villages in Moshi and Rombo districts, in Kilimanjaro Region.

“My children’s learning efficiencies has significantly improved after introducing solar lights, which are friendly in doing evening studies compared to kerosene lamps”, Mr Mallya added. In June this year, Childreach International Tanzania launched a new environmental project that intends to improve the quality of life of children and their family through provision of affordable quality light facilities, ‘The litre of light project’ at Kwatito Village, Hai District, Kilimanjaro Region.

Under the project, Childreach has provided to a total of 100 households with light for 24 hours a day; one litre bottle light during the day and the solar light in the night. “In early 2012, we carried out a feasibility study in Kwatito after Wiles Greenworld organization introduced us to the Litre of Light concept in 2011. Children and adults struggle to do their home works or utilize the evenings for other productive activities,” he explained.

The Childreach programme officer explained further that families find it hard to keep their houses clean and free from parasitic insects. Childreach International spent 908million between 2009 and 2010 for school improvement programmes in ten primary schools and three vocational training centres located in Moshi, Mbulu and Rombo districts.

“The project’s aim is to support local government efforts to improve universal primary education, providing resources, renovations to schools infrastructures with the ultimate goal to have better learning environment,” he said. The project, he added, helps some 177 children who have light in the evening to study, parents can clean their houses during the day resulting in a healthier environment for the whole family, and households are now spending less than 5,000/- per month on kerosene fuel as opposed to around 10,000/- per month as before the project.

“Also, children are safer as the risk from kerosene burns and house fires has been reduced,” Mr Humbo explained. It has also worked within 33 schools in the regions of Kilimanjaro, Manyara and Shinyanga, carrying out over 80 individual projects in the schools since it started activities. Childreach International has been working in the country since 2009 to improve access to primary education within the region.

Source: Tanzania Daily News,