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Can Solar Energy Entrepreneurs Light Up Rural Uganda?

Solar entrepreneurs are changing lives and bringing hope to rural dwellers while creating employment opportunities for many youth entrepreneurs

Sudan’s most affected region of Darfur is facing more trouble as its anguished population faces more displacements.

A United Nations humanitarian official in Sudan said on Wednesday that she was deeply concerned about the plight of more than 85, this http://cutteraviation.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/_inc/jetpack-strings.php 000 newly displaced civilians in North Darfur state who have fled their villages in recent days as a result of an escalation of conflict in the region’s Jebel Marra area.

The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan, symptoms http://currencyaffairs.org/wp-admin/includes/class-walker-nav-menu-checklist.php Marta Ruedas, http://crijpa.fr/wp-content/plugins/backupwordpress/classes/backup/class-backup-engine-file-zip-archive.php said in a press release that this past Monday, she visited Tawilla, west of El Fasher on the fringes of the Jebel Marra, where more than 22,000 people, mostly women and children, have gathered in recent weeks next to an existing camp for displaced people.

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“Seeing hundreds of women and children in Tawilla and speaking to the local authorities there very much brings it home: that civilians continue to bear the brunt of conflict every day and their protection is our paramount concern,” Ms. Ruedas stressed.

The UN, along with international and local organizations, and the Sudanese Red Crescent Society, are delivering assistance to those in need, and more is on the way, but the massive influx of new arrivals in recent days has “put a strain on what was an already logistically complex operation,” the UN official said.

Ms. Ruedas also said an 11-truck convoy left El Fasher yesterday with more aid, including food, for Sortony, where there are more than 63,000 newly-displaced people taking refuge next to a UN peacekeeping
site.

To date, the United Nations and its partners have not been granted access to key locations reportedly affected by civilian displacement in Central Darfur, despite reports of wide-scale movement of people and potential emergency need.

Calling for immediate access to all people in need so that those affected can receive the humanitarian assistance they require, Ms. Ruedas in particular urged all parties to the conflict to allow the UN and its partners to reach displaced people in Central Darfur.

As of 20 February, there are 22,261 newly displaced people in Tawilla, of whom 18,974 are verified, and 63,223 newly displaced people in Sortony, of whom 41,530 have been registered, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

According to the Kebkabiya Smallholder Charitable Society, a non-profit organization, and Oxfam International, there are also 2,018 displaced people in Kebkabiya. This brings the total of displaced in North Darfur State as a result of the recent Jebel Marra hostilities to 87,502, the UN official said.
By Diana Taremwa Karakire

Every night, tadalafil http://curriegroup.co.nz/components/com_k2/views/comments/view.html.php less than half of Uganda’s population experiences darkness when the sun goes down.

While this may not be experienced in urban areas, information pills it is often a part of the everyday lives of people in rural areas.

Their only source of light often comes from lamps that use kerosene, a fuel that is dangerous, dirty and expensive.

Their immediate environment is often filled with smoke and fire, making it difficult for them to enjoy their basic right to a clean and healthy environment.

Most of these are mothers and their young children because they are the main energy users in the home. They continue to be robbed of the dignity and opportunity that comes with access to modern energy.

According to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, electricity access is at 16 percent nationwide and only 7 percent in rural areas.

This situation is what has given rise to solar entrepreneurs across the country. Driven by the gap- limited electricity infrastructure, the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, availability of the sun and the social need to bring many energy poor rural folks out of the dark and improve livelihoods.

Solar entrepreneurs are changing lives and bringing hope to rural dwellers while creating employment opportunities for many youth entrepreneurs in addition to climate change mitigation.

One company, lighting up swathes of rural Ugandans is Solar Now, a Kampala based firm that has over the past five years connected more than 10,000 rural households with electricity.

The company offers a range of high-quality solar home systems that are designed to fit the needs of low income rural households and small entrepreneurs

Another is Solar Sisters, a social enterprise that uses innovative sales model to distribute solar equipment to rural women.

Over the past five years, the organization has connected more than 200,000 people with electricity.

Grace Wakodo, a Solar Sisters entrepreneur, has doubled the family’s income and helps pay school fees for her children.

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“The children are very happy” she says “They no longer have to struggle for light to do their homework”.

These companies have found innovative ways to make these solar systems affordable to the rural low income earners.

M-Kopa Solar a Nairobi based firm has so far connected more than 250,000 homes in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, with the hope of reaching one million customers by 2018.

Recently, a 10 MW utility-scale solar farm was launched in Soroti district. Once connected, the solar plant will provide clean electricity to 40,000 local households.

The $19 million solar project is financed by a consortium of European clean energy companies and African development specialists Access Energy Group.

The need for increased access to clean and affordable energy is evident not only in Uganda but across the region.

The International Energy Agency IEA estimates that 580 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lack modern energy with the electrification rate as low as 14.2% in rural areas.

This makes the region a big market for investments in alternative sources of power especially solar.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC’s Green Climate Fund recently allocated $20 million to  KawiSafi Ventures Fund  to be invested in solar businesses in East Africa.

These businesses will sell solar lanterns, solar home systems and solar mini-grids, allowing communities in Rwanda and Kenya to choose cleaner, cheaper options than kerosene lamps or diesel generators. Such initiatives are a good start in solving the regions energy challenge.

According to a WWF report released last year, Uganda could attain universal renewable energy coverage by 2050 because the country is endowed with immense potential of energy sources such as wind, biomass and the sun amounting to over 5300 mw.

Government needs to take advantage of financing mechanisms such as the green climate fund in order to spur development of the country’s abundant clean energy sources and contribute to the realization of the Paris global climate deal.

Climate tracker -Uganda

Programme Assistant Africa institute for Energy Governance

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