Solar for Africa Blog
Small solar lights are set to transform the way rural Africa lights up its homes in much the same way mobile phones have transformed the way people communicate. This site is all about this solar revolution which is taking place…right now.

Tanzania Electricity access in pictures

Following on from the Myth of Electrification post….

Last week I spent time in western Tanzania in the regions of Mwanza and Shinyanga, visiting our teams there who are selling a phenomenal amount of solar lights at the moment.

As with many of Tanzania’s main roads, the road between Mwanza and Shinyanga is, for the most part, lined with electricity pylons. But if you take a closer look, the number of households connected to electricity is minimal. It is far more common to see electricity lines passing over houses, rather than connecting to houses…and that’s houses on the main road. Why? Because it costs alot to connect, once connected there are expensive bills to pay and…power cuts are frequent. Not surprising then that some of the houses in these picture have opted for solar.

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We passed  thousands of houses just like this between Mwanza & Shinyanga, located right below power lines

As for houses not on the main road in rural areas…well, it’s not rocket science. The likelihood of being connected to the electricity grid is close to zero. Actually, it’s less 2%.

I won’t win any awards for these pictures¬†(lots more on Flickr), but hopefully they serve a purpose to further highlight what a problem this is. You can bet your life that all the homes shown use candles and kerosene on a regular basis. Not surprising then that our teams are seeing such a demand for solar lights. It is, after all, the 21st century. We shouldn’t be forced to use kerosene or candles for some evening light.

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Imagine how dark it gets inside these houses even during the day without proper windows

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Many more pictures on Flickr

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2 Responses to “Tanzania Electricity access in pictures”

  1. Same in #Botswana where the Government are working hard with the Agency responsible to role out a grid electrification programme..The main barrier in rural areas is the cost of connecting to the grid. I visited a village last week of 500 homes where only 30 are connected ! PS we have a solar radiation capacity of 21 MJ per m2 of #Solar energy FREE per day

    #Botswana to host Southern African Renewable energy expo in June 2013 SWAP a cornerstone partner Hope to see you there?

  2. It is heartening to see that solar electricity is able to power houses where regular power never reached in all these years.


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