East Africa / Innovation Systems / Kenya / Research / Women

African huts far from the grid glow with renewable power

Thanks to this solar panel, Sara Ruto no longer takes a three-hour taxi ride to a town with electricity to recharge her cellphone.

For Sara Ruto, the desperate yearning for electricity began last year with the purchase of her first cellphone, a lifeline for receiving small money transfers, contacting relatives in the city or checking chicken prices at the nearest market.

Charging the phone was no simple matter in this farming village far from Kenya’s electric grid.

Every week, Ms. Ruto walked two miles to hire a motorcycle taxi for the three-hour ride to Mogotio, the nearest town with electricity. There, she dropped off her cellphone at a store that recharges phones for 30 cents. Yet the service was in such demand that she had to leave it behind for three full days before returning.

Read more (New York Times)

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