RISE visits members of women self-help groups and local teachers in Singani, Zambia
During her research trip for project 'RISE' in February, Dr Susann Stritzke met members of women self-help groups and local teachers in Singani, a rural village in Zambia, who are involved in operating two small solar PV stations. The systems have been installed during a previous project of Dr Stritzke in cooperation with SolarAid UK eleven years ago. Being able to learn more about the operation of the system and their impacts for the rural community provided essential longitudinal insights for our current research project.
During a focus group discussion, the members of the community shared their experiences in operating the system and how even that small installation impacted the life in the community and for the pupils: basic lighting system enables the extension of study hours and provides space for communal activities, allows basic computer operation and access to a TV set which provides access to information in a community that has no access to electricity and is located far outside any urban catchment area. The members of the Self-Help groups also shared their concepts for a potential productive use of energy in case additional energy sources are available. Central activities the groups aim for would be sewing, food processing and irrigation.
The field visit also entailed a meeting with Chief Choma who represents the traditional local authority of the area. He was already involved in the development of the two solar stations by directing the project team to appropriate sites and was pleased to learn more about the current project RISE. In a next step, we plan to undertake field surveys in the area to obtain a better understanding of energy needs in rural communities.