Solar home energy scheme brings power to poor people in rural Kenya

Some of the poorest people in Kenya are now able to buy their own solar-powered home energy system thanks to subsidies provided through a government programme – The Energy and Cash Plus Initiative, known as Mwangaza Mashinani, targeting the most vulnerable populations in Kenya. Not only are people who are least well off getting cleaner energy and experiencing a better quality of life, but in future they will get their electricity for free, once the equipment costs are paid off.

The solar home system can power three lights, a radio and charge cellphones – enough to light up a typical rural home and connect those living there to the outside world. Thanks to the Mwangaza Mashinani programme, more than 1,600 systems have already been deployed in two counties in Kenya – Kilifi and Garissa – benefitting some 8,000 of the poorest people there.