The pilot solar energy project in the Kenema District in Sierra Leone consists of two parts:
The communities taking part in this project are associated with phase II of CISU funded WASH project.
In Sierra Leone the building of and access to the electrical grid is focused around the capital Freetown, while the rural areas are not a priority. The overall access to electricity is below 6 % of the population, while 83 % report to have access to a mobile phone. With the establishment of solar powered mobile charging stations in rural villages, the locals can charge their phone in the village and will not have to travel to the nearest town. In the longer term the solar-powered charging station will potentially lead to economic development of the community through improved business opportunities.
Provision of solar energy to a rural health clinic allow it to obtain lighting, fridge and power for basic medical equipment leading to improved health care for the rural population as well as improved possibilities for health education. It also reduces the need for kerosene, candles and fossil fuels, which are a financial and health burden to the clinic.
Both solar energy projects will improve the living conditions of the population living in rural areas in Sierra Leone who is currently without access to the electricity grid, through the provision of affordable, reliable and clean electricity.
All 5 participating communities have been involved in prior EWB DK / EWB SL project activities on water and sanitation. The selection of the communities is based on a demonstrated ability to organise around community projects and ability to manage community funds.
The project contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals regarding affordable and clean energy (#7) and partnerships for the goals (#17).