24 hours of sunshine in Mozambique

Photo: ADEL
In Maringue district in central Mozambique people can now see the effects of using solar energy for lighting their homes. Through a project supported by Norges Naturvernforbund has more than 80 families within short time purchased a solar panel system. The costs of the solar panels can be paid back over some few months with the money saved for lamp oil and radio batteries. In addition a considerable health gain is achieved when the indoor air is not polluted by the lamp fume.

Norges Naturvernforbund’s local partner organization, ADEL-Sofala, has in 2008 created an energy shop in Maringue. Through this shop they have already made it possible for 80 families to purchase a small solar panel set at a price of 1800 meticais (approximately 70 US dollars), paid in instalments over a few months. In this way these families have significantly reduced their use of lamp oil and radio batteries, again resulting in saved money. Data based on a survey made in some communities show that a family may use around 20 US dollars per month on lamp oil and radio batteries. This shows clearly the potential of shifting to solar energy for families in Maringue, and elsewhere. An additional and important effect is that this shift brings reduced pollution, both indoors and outdoors, which in the next turn results in less health problems.

An instruction leaflet is developed by ADEL and given to those who buy the solar panels. In addition, ADEL gives technical advice, if necessary also after installation. Some of the families have now aired their wish to have an additional panel, but ADEL is focusing their assistance on the ones who want to have their first panel.

In the district centre of Maringue there is an electricity generator. This has not been in operation for the last nine months due to the fact that the local administration has had no money for the fuel. One of the effects is that schools have not been able to run evening lessons, as they normally would have done, to compensate for the lack of classrooms during day-time. Two schools have now installed solar panels, making them able to have evening lessons in some of their classrooms.