Changing lives with Solar Power
iKhanya Afrika is currently raising funds to put solar power systems (DC Microgrid Systems) into informal dwellings in Smutsville-Sizamile in the town of Sedgefield of the Knysna municipal area of South Africa, in collaboration with a local civic organisation. Although Sedgefield is a seaside town that many of us associate with expensive holiday homes and natural scenic beauty, you may be surprised to know that over 400 households in Smutsville-Sizamile, some of which have been there for more than 15 years, have no access to electricity.
A basic DC Microgrid system costs R5523 incl. (approx US$610) of which R500 is paid by the recipient, as recommended by the civic organisation with the remainder coming from donor funding. This provides a solar panel and battery with a 3-day reserve of power, a high-quality control & distribution box with fused circuits, 3 independently switched LED interior lights, an outdoor motion-sensor security light, an am/fm radio and a cellphone charger socket. Systems can then be upgraded to power a flat-screen LED colour TV and a dvd player, or even a satellite TV decoder or a fridge-freezer.
The householder pays a small monthly fee to a trained local resident for regular maintenance, ensuring that the system is kept in good order whilst providing job-creation and income generation opportunities.
So far six systems have been installed, the first being the demonstration unit (pictured above) donated by Specialized Solar Systems, the other 5 having been funded by donations from local residents. You can watch a video of the reaction of the owner of the informal dwelling in Sedgefield in which the first DC Microgrid was installed by clicking here.
Your donation, however small, will go towards changing people's lives by providing something that most of us take for granted; safe lighting and access to information are tools that will help to ensure that children growing up in these conditions are able to study and perhaps, one day, create a better future for themselves. And if you are able to commit to giving an ongoing, monthly amount, it will help to ensure that we can reach every household that needs power.
Donations can be made using Paypal or your credit card. Amounts are shown in US$ (1US$ ≈ R9) but will be paid out in SA Rand. Sign on as a Follower and we will keep you posted regarding progress.
For more information or to visit one of the installed systems, or if you would like to enquire about starting a project for another area please contact Ed Hill at [email protected]