Malawi?s Solar Micro-finance Initiative Builds Business for Women Entrepreneurs
Friday, September 30, 2011
(WNN) Kasungu, Malawi: In the small landlocked southeastern African nation of Malawi only 8% of its growing 15.263 million people are connected to the national power grid, a source of power that has become increasingly unreliable. For many women and their families this often means only one thing – complete darkness at night or limited light generated only by candles or kerosene lamps.
Being a woman in one of the poorest countries in the world carries with it many burdens. In addition to struggling to provide for one’s family, limited access to the basic infrastructure, such as the use of electricity and water, can make necessary daily tasks for women much more limited and compromised.
Because of this, numerous women in Malawi are on the cutting edge with a strong desire to experiment using new technologies for energy.
“Electric power cuts are now a big problem in Malawi and they take place daily,” says Italian photographer Paolo Patruno who is working with a child blindness initiative at the Seva Foundation in Lilongwe. “The problem is getting worse because of the lack of diesel fuel for generators,” he continues.
Electricity in Malawi simply cannot be depended upon, and clearly these energy problems require a modern and innovative approach. This is why the United Kingdom based MicroLoan Foundation chose to launch its pilot program in Malawi – to provide economic opportunities to women using solar initiatives.