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Electricity does not change poor lives as much as was thought – More light, less clarity

Energy & Environment News

Credit: Mathieu Young

Though she lives in one of the world’s poorest countries, Drocella Yandereye is a picture of upward mobility. Her small farm in Rwanda, where she grows maize, beans, bananas and coffee, is thriving. She has built a new house and turned her old one into a chicken shed. Her interests range well beyond her village, evidenced by the two posters on her living-room wall showing African leaders and the countries of the world. What makes her even more unusual is that she has electric light.

It is not the kind of bright, leave-it-on light that people in rich countries take for granted. A small solar panel on Ms Yandereye’s roof is connected to a wall-mounted battery, which powers a radio and three led ceiling lamps. Ms Yandereye also uses the battery to charge her mobile phone and a portable lamp that she hangs around her neck. All the lamps are rather dim. But they produce just enough light to allow her children to study after sunset, and they do not kick out foul fumes, like the kerosene lamps she used to depend on…

Read more: Electricity does not change poor lives as much as was thought – More light, less clarity

Initiative

Energy and Economic Growth

Country

Rwanda

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