Association of SENDEA Uganda, a local cooperative supporting entities in the renewable energy space has launched its seventh solar village located in Ruhita, Kafunjo parish, Ruhara sub county in Kabale district that will connect at least 100 rural households to renewable energy solutions.
The Association of SENDEA Uganda aims to widen access and affordability of affordable solar systems to hundreds of locals who are left out of the traditional grid of hydro power connections.
Under this intervention of driving up access of renewable energy solutions model, hundreds of rural communities under solar villages in the districts of Luwero, Buikwe, Kasese, Jinja and Mbarara have benefit.
“Through our members in the solar association, we are providing a highly subsidised cost for different solar accessories to communities which we have declared as Solar Villages. We look to the economic activities that they are involved in and allow for modest monthly installment payments,” Loy Kyazaire, the CEO of SENDEA Uganda said.
“We are launching the seventh solar village here at Ruhita Village, in Kabale district where most of the local community members here are engaged in potatoes and passion fruit growing among others. They can afford these solar accessories which are highly subsidised by nearly 35%.”
According to Kyozaire, connecting households to cost effective solar accessories, SENDEA aims at improved lighting and spur socio and economic activities and in turn improving their standards of living.
However, with the solar village launched in the ever misty countryside of Kigezi, it means that the accessories available to the farming community in the Kigezi region, must be of much stronger quality in order to ensure retention of solar energy.
“The weather here is always cold and cloudy. Often the sunshine is not even bright like it is in
Kasese. So we ensure that the solar accessories that we are distributing is of higher technical capacity to enable user remain with some energy whenever, the weather is not conducive or
sunny,” said Allan Ntaale, an electronics distributor in Kabale district.
The SENDEA project, alongside its implementing partner in Kabale district, the Solar Aid initiative hope that with wider access to more affordable renewable energy accessories to rural communities; businesses and social activities will also thrive.
“In our interactions with the communities such as here in Ruhita, the power grid is right by the road side. Most of the community members are not connected. As a solar village, they will not only get easier and affordable connection, but also clean energy,” said Izdolo Tumusiime , the Director for Solar First – Uganda.
The community leaders including the Ruhita LC1 chairman, Emmanuel Sabiiti welcomed the initiative that he said will be of great benefit.
“This new Solar Village of Ruhita, will also promote sharing and access of latest information on radio sets, internet and television. Even our children who are out of school will be able to learn better,”Sabiiti said.
This hilly ridges of Kigezi are dotted with numerous small scale farmers, whose trade and commerce in agricultural produce once sold will be pivotal in ensuring that modest monthly payments of less than 50,000 for the renewable energy accessories.