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Kenya: the World Cup goes solar in Africa’s largest slum

Posted by Lindy on June 27, 2010

Posted by GetSolar Staff in Thursday, June 24th 2010

The youths from the Kibera Community Youth Programme (KYCP), a registered community based organization in Nairobi’s populous Kibera slum, have teamed up with Solafrica – a Swiss-based non-profit organization that campaigns for the adoption of solar technology – to provide a solar powered big screen television set at a public hall where up to 1,000 slum dwellers without televisions or electricity can enjoy the first World Cup staged in Africa without paying a single cent.

The technology that powers the TV is called, by the two groups, a “Solar Power Station.” It’s a small, plug-in device that captures the sun’s energy through the use of solar panels. There’s no complex wiring, to boot. According to KCYP’s solar project manager, Elizabeth Otieno, the station is essentially a box with solar panels and rechargeable batteries. When fully charged, the batteries can be used for six to 10 hours. The system can also be used to power other devices like lights or cell phones.

“The Kibera youth’s have now conquered the power of the sun,” said Executive Director of Solafrica Joshiah Ramogi, whose group has trained nearly 30 of Kibera’s youth to install solar power systems and make other energy products, like LED lamps, at a 2007 workshop in Nairobi, Kenya. The lamps will be sold in both Kibera and Switzerland. As for the goal of this solar power project, Romogi explains: ‘the organization is especially rooting for the adoption of the solar lamp in place of the widely used kerosene lamp that yields dim light and produces a toxic smoke that predisposes users to respiratory ailments. In very poorly ventilated dwellings, the kerosene lamp poses the further risk


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