Households in Idi village which is under Group Village Headman Chiuja, T/A Kawinga in Machinga used to rely on candles and paraffin-fueled lamps for lighting which were neither easily accessed nor afforded for most of the households. According to Omex Hussain, Mulepa CBO director, this was a huge challenge which the community hoped that the CBO would help curbing but the CBO had no clue on the possible solutions until when Milimo Activity strengthen their capacity in terms of networking and collaboration with development partners.
“Since Milimo showed us that we can solve some of the problems through partnerships, we have so far collaborated with organizations like Adaptation Fund, World Connect and Sunny Money in different development areas”, Hussain explained. “When we heard that Sunny Monday provides solar panels with electric lamps to people on soft loans, we approached them as a CBO to brief us on how they work so we were satisfied and so were the community members in Idi village. As such, they came and provided the solar panel sets to 100 households in the village’, Hussain continued.
Each recipient household pays MK70 per day or MK2100 per month to Sunny Money and this will be done in 12 months. After that, the solar lamps will be completely owned by the household. The community members are now using clean light source for their houses at night and also charge their mobile phones from the solar panel sets unlike in the past when they relied on charging the phones at a fee at the trading center which is very far from the village. Many people had their phones stolen as well at the charging points. One of the community members, Margeret Madyitu, she is now saving money and time as she is charging her phone right in her own house. “The solar lamps do only give us good lights at night but also the comfort of charging the phone in the house’, Madyitu testified.