Solar Lights Sold On Credit To Low Income Kenyans

Solar Lights Sold On Credit To Low Income Kenyans

From Food Processing Africa.

A pay-as-you-go solar lighting company in Kenya allows low-income residents a pollution-free, home lighting alternative to kerosene that eventually buys them ownership of their lights, according to a report in Food Processing Africa.

M-Kopa Solar, a mobile technology group, gives credit to low-income earners to buy the solar home system. The system consists of a four-watt rooftop solar panel;  control box that attaches to the wall of the home; three adjustable lights; a mobile phone charging station and a base station that manages and displays the user’s credit. It has embedded sim cards enabled by East African telecommunications company Safaricom, according to Food Processing Africa.

Kenyan resident Jesse Moore, a Canadian and former Morehead scholar at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, is the founder of M-Kopa Solar. He has more than 10 years experience advising and investing in emerging market ventures, according to his website, m-kopa.com.

About 80 percent of Kenyan residents use kerosene in their homes because the national electricity grid does not reach many rural communities and requires a connection fee out of reach for most, at least $412, according to Food Processing Africa.

The World Health Organization said inhaling fumes from fuels used to power stoves and lamps can have the same effect as smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, according to the report.

Kerosene costs about $0.65 a day. The solar system costs $199 with a $29 down payment and daily installments of $0.46 until it’s paid off in about a year, according to M-Kopa in the article.

Kenya’s per capita income equates to $2.20 per day, according to Daily Nation.

Read more at Food Processing Africa.