My name is Miraji and I live in a small village called Kitogani (Zanzibar, Tanzania). We have been living without electricity and running water since our village was established 20 years ago.
For all this time our village - around 60 people in 18 houses - struggle with darkness every day. Here the sun goes down at 6 pm and rises at 6 am all year round. We cannot cook, eat, or even use a refrigerator, our kids cannot learn, do their homework, read, play. We cannot go to visit our neighbours because in the dark we can be attacked by dangerous snakes. If anything bad happens, we cannot call for help because our phones are dead. We also don’t have running water, because water pumps require electricity. Everyday we need to walk a dozen or more times to the nearest well which is 300 meters away.
Apart the basic needs such as hygiene, lack of water prevents some of us working - our plants wither so we cannot sell fruits. If we need to do something after the sunset we use candles, what is dangerous because there’s a risk of setting the house on fire.
An event that happened 3 years ago was the worst imaginable scenario that lack of electricity led to. My brother’s children were sent to the nearest village to charge the family phone. When they were coming back, it was dark on the street and one of his daughters got hit by a car and died. If we had electricity we wouldn’t have to send anybody to the neighbours and kids would be visible on the street because of lamps.
We’ve been struggling for years with public officials, asking for help, writing letters, calling - without results. We asked the Electricity Office (Department) to calculate costs of supplying our village with electricity. It requires setting 9 new utility poles and around 900 meters of cables. The total cost of this operation would be $5000 (= 4901€). Even if we split it between all households, the of $280 per house is still unreachable for us. Median monthly salary here is $130 and a lot of adults from the village are unemployed and many of them are widows and widowers.
What electricity would give us:
- We could function normally after the sunset (cook, eat, clean, read) and store food in refrigerator
- Our kids could learn and play after the sunset
- We could call for help in case of emergency
- We would minimise the probability of danger of being hit by the car on the street, starting the fire at home, eating insects by accident, being bitten by snake
- We could carry the water to our households using water pumps
- Water in our households would also help us with farming = earning money
With your help we can meet basic human needs. Any and all donations would greatly be appreciated. Thank you.