SolarAid launches micro-franchise commitment at Clinton Global Initiative

Oct 16th, 2009 | By John Waller | Category: Sub-Saharan Africa
The use of kerosene for lighting is a significant cause of lung disease, eyesight problems, burns and accidental poisoning, so replacing kerosene lamps with solar lamps also considerable health benefits

The use of kerosene for lighting is a significant cause of lung disease, eyesight problems, burns and accidental poisoning, so replacing kerosene lamps with solar lamps also considerable health benefits

SolarAid announced at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York its new commitment to scaling up a micro-franchise network across East Africa to reduce greenhouse gases and boost economic development.

SolarAid is identifying, training and supporting a growing network of micro-franchisees under the brand name Sunnymoney. These franchisees are drawn from the poorest communities in rural Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.

SolarAid offers its Sunnymoney micro-franchisees access to a multi-purpose solar kit that can power a light and charge mobile phones; a range of marketing materials; and training and support. It has already sold 10,000 products and plans to sell at least 100,000 over the coming four years.

This will lead to significant reductions in CO2. SolarAid’s research shows that average kerosene lamp in East Africa produces one tonne of CO2 every seven to 10 years. So by selling 100,000 solar kits there will be a reduction in CO2 of approximately 10,000 tonnes.

SolarAid’s Executive Director Dr Nick Sireau said: ‘This commitment will make a significant difference to the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in rural Africa. It builds on our previous commitment, which we made at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2006 and which we successfully accomplished earlier this year.’

The previous commitment was to set up a carbon reduction programme in East Africa. SolarAid achieved this when it received accreditation by the Gold Standard, the world’s highest quality mark for carbon reduction projects, in April this year.

Replacing kerosene lamps with solar lamps also has considerable health benefits. The use of kerosene for lighting is a significant cause of lung disease, eyesight problems, burns and accidental poisoning. Furthermore, SolarAid’s research shows that the average household in rural Africa spends 20% of its income on kerosene, candles, and charging cell phones. Buying a Sunnymoney solar kit therefore leads to considerable energy savings, which are then used to pay for more food, education and medicine.

To support this project or for more information, please visit: http://solar-aid.org/about/2009/09/solaraid-launches-micro-franch.html

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