Project location: Malawi
Funding: £147,307
Year / duration: 2007 / 3 Years
Partner: SolarAid

Many of the poorest communities in the world have no access to electricity or are dependent on infrequent and unpredictable supplies. In rural Africa, barely 2% of the population is connected to the grid, yet many of these regions have the highest levels of sunshine in the world.

In 2006, SolarAid launched to help African communities harness the power of the sun, and establish long term supplies of cheap, clean renewable energy. TRAID was one of the first organisations to fund SolarAid with a grant to train poor people in Malawi to build and market solar powered versions of small devices like lanterns, radios and phone chargers which are essential to these communities.

The SunnyMoney project focused initially on ending the dependence on burning kerosene for light which is harmful to health, dangerous and expensive. Entrepreneurs learned to build and sell solar powered lamps generating income for themselves and their families, and at the same time, provided an environmentally friendly and non-polluting alternative to kerosene in their communities. To date, microsolar businesses established by the SunnyMoney project have sold 5812 solar powered lamps.

At the macrosolar level, the project is scaling up and has since installed clean and affordable solar powered lighting systems in 18 schools, health clinics and community centres. Today, SolarAid is fighting poverty with enterprise across Africa reaching thousands of people through its macro and micro programmes.