Project Launch: 2-26-19
Communities in Mtuzuzu continue to face challenges accessing energy for lighting, powering radios, charging phones and studying because it is located far from the national power grid. Proposed by Center for Child Development and Research, Green Village project will provide solar lantern products that will be sold to community members on a pay-as-you-go basis and establish kitchen gardens where households will grow vegetables for improved nutrition and economic benefits to aid households while they channel the funds spent on procuring vegetables to paying for the solar lanterns procured.
The project will work with 20 existing groups in group liability model. At the start, 150 members will be targeted to be connected to off-grid power and the number will increase as the project progresses. 500 members will be introduced to backyard gardening in the project. The green villages project will lead to increased access to lighting by community members and improved income levels through commissions and small scale phone charging businesses. Members will also generate income by selling vegetables grown in their backyard gardens in addition to improving households nutrition levels. Far and above, the project will offer a lifetime opportunity to over 500 students to study and improve performance in their respective schools. The project is expected to impact over 1,000 households in the next two years.
Project Update: 9-16-19
In the first six months of the project, the Green Village project has provided 35 solar products such as boosters and lamps to 31 households on a pay as you go and cash basis to enable them to have lighting, radios, and phone charging outlets in their homes. Four other households have been given sample products to enhance marketing and attract more community members. A 33 years old lady has been recruited as a field agent and is responsible for managing the sales, repayment collections, marketing, and backstopping support for the project.
In addition, each of the five villages is leading a demo garden to teach community members how to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables. This will supplement familes' nutritional needs as well as generate income for families to pay for their solar products. Kettie Ndhlovu is a 47 years old mother with a household of eight people, four of which are school-going children. Kettie had this to say in regards to the solar boom that she purchased, “I am no longer afraid of losing my phone because I am charging it at home, saving the money I would have paid for charging and my children can now study at night.'' The project seeks to improve the performance of students, such as Kettie’s children through the studies that can now be done at night, using the solar lights.