Deus Kasanya's community project on Renewable Energy
Africa remains the least developed continents of the world. One billion Africans,though they are one sixth of the world population use a mere 4% of the world's electricity. Hundreds of thousands of people have no means to clean,safe and convenient energy. Instead,many Africans must walk,spend hours collecting firewood to cook with and the majority spend a large part of their incomes on costly fuels such as kerosene for dim unclean light.
Lacking access and clean and affordable energy has a tremendous social-economic impact on education,income,health,water,food and air quality. Yet Africa as a continent is far from poor. Africa is rich in renewable energy resources that could power its development. From geothermal heat within its rift valleys to the hundreds of rivers and tributaries that could run micro-hydro systems: There is wind to be harvested along all its coastlines and on a micro scale within its interiors:There are literally tons of biowaste that could be digested and utilized each day and not to mention miles upon miles of deserts filed with the worlds most potent solar radiation enough to meet the worlds current energy needs within a minor percentage of the sahara desert.
In my country Uganda,90% of the rural and 74% of the overall population has no access to electricity. It is however well known that access to electricity can lead to improved education by increasing the ease at which people can study or teach outside daylight hours.For children and farmers who need to work during the day,this can make a big difference to their education.
Electricity can also make running public works such as hospitals and police stations more possible while streets lights can make communities safer. Access to electricity can increase the productivity hours in the day for small entrepreneurs (SMEs) and save women several hours everyday spend looking for firewood,thus leading to improved gender equality. It can enable people to watch TV,listen to radio and use computers to be more informed about local and international news and issues. Electricity and other clean sources of energy such as solar and biogas can improve health by replacing smoky kerosene lamps and firewood stoves. It is therefore only logical that developing a country's energy sector will lead to economic and social development and an improved quality of life.
Specifically,developing to use renewable and indigeneous sources of energy empowers rural communities to generate their own off the grid energy that leads to more rapid and sustainable economic and social development.