Lucyline Wanja Silas prepares a meal outside her kitchen in Gakunga village, central Kenya, using power from a solar PV unit she installed early this year, on June 10, 2020. Photo Credit: Thomson Reuters Foundation/Kagondu Njagi

SocietyTechnology Kenya2. August 2020

Corona: Solar Power Keeps People Safe During Blackouts

Kenya’s rural villages have been suffering from increasing blackouts as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. But a switch to solar power is helping families and their electricity-deprived neighbors keep their lights on.

Aside from these blackouts, many Kenyans have been losing work amid the COVID-19 outbreak making it difficult to afford paying off traditional electricity bills, and alternative energy resources can be a life-saving solution to this issue.

“Without a power source, families facing an emergency are not able to keep their mobile phones charged to call us,” says Pamela Mukami Njeru, a community health volunteer in the central Mt. Kenya region whose work involves taking patients with urgent cases to hospitals. “This is how having a solar unit which can supply power all day and night can save lives.”

Switching to solar power is now becoming more and more accessible in the African nation: a report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency in June has shown that utility-scale PV solar power costs have been reduced by over 80% between 2010 and 2019. This cost reduction is helping more families afford to install units in their home that keep their children studying and fed, while also aiding in curbing climate change.

Thomson Reuters Foundation

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