For over 35 years, Samansco has been embarking on transformative solar projects across the African continent. Tasked with creating a developmental and sustainable solution to communities, the team embarked on a project that aimed to create green communities independent of the national grid in Gutu Zimbabwe. Communities would become self-sustaining through a developmental model anchored in solar power.
The project required the construction of solar kiosks in the Gutu area, which were built to create a self-financing and sustainable solar energy market via a virtuous circle of increasing demand and supply. The supply of energy was the key to enterprise development, and enterprise development in turn effectively increased the demand for more energy.
The project implemented in the rural district of Gutu Zimbabwe, involved the construction of 4 solar kiosks. Each kiosk was powered by photovoltaic panels on the roof. Upon entering these energy kiosks, there were shelves of twinkling Mobiya lights from Schneider Electric, in the process of being recharged, along with numerous mobile phones and batteries which stored the excess energy. The solar kiosks typically had a rent-to-buy scheme whereby each buyer paid a monthly figure to make use of the product and would return to the kiosk to charge when required. At the end of 12 months, the buyer obtained the Mobiya and also received the solar panel to go with it.
Project site: Gutu Zimbabwe 2015
System: Solar Kiosk Charging station
4 solar kiosks construted
800 Mobiya lights used
20 solar batteries used
This developmental project assisted many by creating employment and generating household income for families, who at the time had no means of income to sustain their livelihoods. Hospitals in the community also made use of the lights which particularly assisted in lighting up the maternity ward in the hospitals. Post project developments have seen the amount of money raised in Gutu, through the solar kiosk initiative and reinvested in community projects reaching close to $53,000. The total number of people benefitting in one way or another from solar power across the district, as farmers and entrepreneurs, pupils and patients, was nearly 32 000.