With support from Power Africa, as a result of assistance provided to host country governments and the private sector, energy customers in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria gained access to new or improved electricity. Nega’s story highlights one of the experiences households have had as a result of gaining access to that electricity.
My name is Nega. I live in Muher Aklil, Ethiopia with seven people in the same room. Before we got the solar home system, we used kerosene lanterns. I used kerosene when I attended school, and I didn’t want my children to go through the same struggle.
It is very dangerous, and there were other children who died using kerosene. They were lying on the floor studying when the gas spilled. In this neighborhood, another child’s face got burned and the whole house burned down. So, I thought about that when the opportunity for solar came.
Now my children are pursuing their education without any worry.
My children have shown progress in their education. They are becoming more confident in their education than ever before. More than anything, we are very happy about our life since the solar connection. We don’t have to worry about having firewood to light up the house at night; now we just sit and eat dinner happily with the lights on. We have also become more conscious about our lifestyle and health. Our interactions are happier and more peaceful than before. My children are able to study as long as they want, or they can just play or sit in the house without any worry. So, if we didn’t have the solar system in our house, our life would be very hard to handle.
Providing good education for your children means preparing them for the future. If they have a bright future, that means I will have a bright future as well. I don’t want them to be farmers like me, so I want to provide everything I can to help them succeed.
In the past, there was only one kerosene lantern in the center of the house hanging from the ceiling. Because kerosene is expensive, and the light was not very bright, they would only study till 8pm. Now, having light has encouraged them to study more, until 10pm. This gives them confidence to do whatever they want in their lives. If they do well in their studies, they will definitely reach a great position. It is possible that they could even rule their country.
There are people in my neighborhood that gained the solar system before I did, and when you see their lives now, their children are well educated and their lives have improved so much. Some of their children are now teachers in our neighborhood’s high school. When you see children of parents who have solar home systems, almost all of them completed their education and are able to reach great positions, and it is all because they were able to study using electric light. That is what I am doing now — providing a solar home system for my children to encourage them in their education.