SolarAid: Light a Village Update

Date: 17/07/2023

In March 2023, NextEnergy Foundation began supporting SolarAid’s Light a Village programme to bring solar energy to the poorest, last-mile communities in rural Malawi. Visit the project page for more details about the programme.

The programme is being rolled out in a phased approach. In June 2023, we shared a video created by SolarAid to celebrate raising all the funds needed for this second phase of the project.

Phases One and Two had a target of 2,500 homes. The target has been exceeded: 2,500 SHSs have been installed, covering 100% of the households in the 5 largest village units in Kasakula, and an additional 76 have been installed in schools and on the homes of teachers at their request.

Usage is extremely high – over 90% are in use every day – and families are significantly saving on energy costs as they no longer buy kerosene or candles. The Turner-Kirk Trust interviewed Brave Mhonie, the General Manager of SolarAid’s operations in Malawi, who spoke more about the transformative impact which SolarAid is having on communities in sub-Saharan Africa through programmes such as Light a Village.

SolarAid is now planning Phase Three of the programme to install a further 5,000 SHSs. Why 7,500 across all three Phases? This will provide solar power for the entire Kasakula community in which there are no electrification plans for the foreseeable future due to its remoteness. It will also enable SolarAid to reach the proof of concept level requested by the Malawian Government before scaling across the country.