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Slideshow: Barefoot Power brings solar lighting off-the-grid

   /   May 17th, 2011Africa, East Africa, News, Photos & Videos

A couple hours drive on a dusty road outside of the southern town of Masaka, Uganda, you’ll find Musubiro Village. Miles from the closest electricity grid, there is little hope of government power coming this way anytime soon.

In Musubiro, like so many other villages across Africa, the main source of light is kerosene- which is not only expensive, but has a myriad of negative health side affects, and the risk that always comes when you mix open flames and straw thatched roof dwellings. Typically, the day’s chores are done, children’s studying is over, and small shops are closed when the sun goes down at 7:30 p.m.

Not anymore.

Barefoot Power, a for-profit social enterprise operating across East Africa, has built a network of “Solar Entrepreneurs” who are responsible for bringing solar lighting to towns and villages like Musubiro all across Uganda. Their products, ranging from the extremely popular “Firefly Mobile”, a small 1.5 watt panel with 12 small LED lights and a phone charger, or their full “Village Kits” that can provide lighting to an entire house, are making solar power affordable and accessible to those at the base of the economic pyramid. The small solar panels are portable and once charged, act like a battery.

Barefoot Power currently has 160 Solar Entrepreneurs operating all over Uganda, and an extensive distribution network which makes its products available to customers across Kenya, Tanzania, India, and several other parts of the world.

11 Responses

  1. Math Geurts says:


  2. Ving says:

    I really appreciate free, sccuinct, reliable data like this.

  3. [...] of a bona fide on-the-ground global trend experimenting with profits and impact. In East Africa, Barefoot Power has built a network of Solar Entrepreneurs to sell solar lighting to towns and villages across [...]

  4. Adam Spencer says:

    Solar energy in rural areas of Bolivia also promotes education through computer centers, supports local farmers to pump water in the dry seasons, and improves sanitation by eliminated the need for fires indoor at night:

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  6. Seth Army says:

    I agree, but we all need to acknowledge that adding Solar to their home is an asset that will boost the actual worth of their property if / when they decide to sell. With the environment the way it is going we simply cannot disregard any product that presents free energy at no cost to both the consumer and more importantly the world!

  7. [...] work in collaboration with women groups, especially with CARE and their major initiative Light up a village is getting [...]

  8. [...] work in collaboration with women groups, especially with CARE and their major initiative Light up a village is getting [...]

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