J934N Mt. Elgon Self-Help Community Project

Uganda, Africa

The Situation

Mt Elgon is an isolated rural community in the eastern region of Uganda. This region has extremely limited employment opportunities and many families have no access to basic utilities such as energy or drinkable water. Every year dozens of homes are lost and hundreds of people die from mudslides, the result of widespread deforestation.

The Objectives

  1. Assist families to save towards the purchase of solar power systems and for youth to create solar businesses.
  2. Enable families to obtain clean energy, creating employment opportunities and reducing reliance on timber. The project aims to protect the local environment and agricultural economy from further deforestation.

The Mt Elgon team has been visiting communities to inform them about their opportunity to save and purchase a solar power system. Families that have already purchased solar systems are benefiting from access to power in their own homes. This is their feedback:

  • Solar is good for lights compared to the kerosene lamp which produces a lot of smoke and heat.
  • Children find it easy now using the solar system to read books. The family is now able to save money and buy materials for children in school.
  • The solar system has raised their status. People thought he could never own such a thing in his home and now everyone respects him.
  • Previously they were buying paraffin, but sometimes when there is no money they were left in darkness. Now he is never worried and always certain of having power.
  • They now believe that with collaborated efforts, things that seem hard can easily be attained.

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