Solar Sisters electrify Uganda′s countryside | Global Ideas | DW | 05.03.2013
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Global Ideas

Solar Sisters electrify Uganda's countryside

In East Africa, women are taking responsibility for generating clean energy. Their initiative has provided green power to rural areas as well as provided jobs and a regular income for a growing number of women.

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Project goal: Replacing kerosene lamps with solar lamps and empower women, creating a network of 5000 female entrepreneurs
Project size: Solar Sister employs 16 people and has helped 400 women become entrepreneurs, who have in turn sold 7,000 solar lamps in Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan. Some 50,000 people are benefiting from the lamps.
Project volume: Solar Sister is hoping for a turnover of $500,000 in 2013
CO2 savings: Every solar-powered lamps cuts down on between 500 and 600 liters of kerosene in 10 years – that’s the equivalent of about 1.5 tons of CO2. So far, the lamps that have been sold have already cut some 10,000 tons of CO2.

People in Uganda depend almost exclusively on dim kerosene-fired lamps for light. Around 95 percent of the country’s population have to use the expensive and dangerous fuel because they don’t have access to the electricity grid. Now, a socially-conscious company called Solar Sister is providing help in the form of solar energy. It has already distributed 32,000 solar-powered lamps. The company is run exclusively by women because in Uganda, it is traditionally women who buy kerosene lamp oil. Just one solar lamp saves 600 liters of kerosene and 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide over the span of 10 years. And that’s just the beginning. Solar Sister hopes to expand the project further, saving 10 million tons of CO2 over the next decade.

A film by Joanna Gottschalk

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