Udora Orizu in Abuja
A social enterprise group, Solar Sister Nigeria, in collaboration with Solar Nigeria programme has called for increased role by women in clean energy access, especially in undeserved communities across the country.
Speaking at a media advocacy/workshop in Abuja, the Country Manager, Solar Sister Nigeria, Olasimbo Sojinrin stated that Nigeria in particular and Africa as a whole, were faced with energy poverty with 600 million people in Africa living without electricity, 728 million depending on fuels such as charcoal and firewood for cooking while over 10 million businesses are affected by lack of power.
Sojinrin said: “What we have in Nigeria is that one in three people is actually not connected to the national grid and so they are in perpetual darkness, half of the population lives in rural areas in which one in four people have access to electricity, the huge majority of 70 per cent of people affected by energy poverty are women and girls.
â€œFamilies spend 30-40 per cent income on household energy (USA average is 5%), over 2/3 of Nigerians are dependent on biomass for cooking and indoor air pollution is the 3rd highest killer in Nigeria. So, what solar system does is to give them access to modern, clean energy which they can use to light their homes as well as cook.
â€œSolar Sister produces durable and affordable lights, cook stoves, lamps and so on. So, the beneficiaries of this organisation have been able to impact the lives of the communities in which they stay, thereby people don’t have to be in darkness.
“If you go to these communities you find out that activities stop around 7.00pm but with the introduction of solar lamps, you find out that businesses are opened till longer, we have lot of economic activities which has been impacted just by simple solar lamp which the life changing effect of light in their communities,” she said
She said Solar Sister currently operates in 23 of the nationâ€™s 36 states and impacted on sisterhood support, community safety, business growth, economic stability and health.
â€œWe foresee a world where women and girls are drivers of a sustainable energy movement in a rapidly growing clean energy sector to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable solutions to climate change that results in a prosperous society, Sojinrin said.