Strapline

Rurenkil II (Rural Energy Kiosk)

Scottish Government have awarded funding to a Scottish Charity, International Resources and Recycling Institute (IRRI), who are based in Edinburgh, in order to develop a self-sustaining business model for two solar powered Energy Kiosks located in Malawi.

In 2013, thanks to initial Scottish Government funding, solar-powered Energy Kiosks were established in two sites, which are not supplied by the national power grid in Southern Malawi. At each Kiosk, over 100 surrounding households were enabled to rent rechargeable battery packs of different capacities, as well as compatible basic accessories like mobile phones chargers, LED light bulbs, small TV screens, laptop chargers etc. Thus, households who did not have access to or could not afford their own off-grid energy devices were offered an opportunity to increase their life quality and economic opportunities.

Provided with these, people no longer depended on unsustainable, expensive and unhealthy lighting sources such as candles, paraffin lamps or one-way battery torches. Each Kiosk also benefited businesses, as complete stand-alone solar systems were also available to rent.

Both the Dzenje and Bvumbwe communities benefited significantly from the Energy Kiosks:

  • Eye and lung problems with children and adults that were previously caused by inhaling paraffin lamp smoke were reduced;
  • Families and local businesses extended their productivity to after sunset;
  • Education level rose because students were enabled to study in the evenings;
  • Households increased disposable income, as rental costs from the Kiosk were significantly lower than what they had previously been spending on one-way batteries, candles or paraffin.

Since the initial Scottish Government funding finished in 2014, the two kiosks have continued to trade with support from IRRI and their partner in Malawi, Renew N’Able Malawi. There have been a number of challenges that the kiosks and communities have been facing and this additional funding from Scottish Government in combination with a fund raising campaign which is being co-ordinated by IRRI, is expected that within the next 20 months, both of the kiosks will be self-sustaining, providing long lasting benefits to the communities.

Should you wish any further information on the project please contact the Project Manager, Ewan Ramsay on + 44 (0) 7581 492753 or on ewan.ramsay@irri.org.uk or visit this website.

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          Saturday, 25 November, 2017
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