Campaign to promote use of renewable energy launched

A campaign that seeks to sensitise the public about the dangers of using kerosene lamps, candles and other pollutants for lighting has been launched by BBOXX, a local solar home systems vendor.
A BBOXX employee displays a solar panel in rural Rwanda. / Courtesy
A BBOXX employee displays a solar panel in rural Rwanda. / Courtesy

A campaign that seeks to sensitise the public about the dangers of using kerosene lamps, candles and other pollutants for lighting has been launched by BBOXX, a local solar home systems vendor.

According to Innocent Ninsiima, the public relations officer, the three-month campaign is targeting people who have no access to the national grid, especially those in rural areas, where many households do not have access to clean energy sources.

Ninsiima said the public sensitisation drive dubbed, “Koongezana BBOXX”, will promote the use of safer, reliable and affordable renewable energy sources with an aim of ending the use kerosene lamps, candles and other pollutant products.

The campaign was launched last week in Muganza sector, Nyaruguru District.

About 40 per cent of Rwandan households access electricity, and renewable energy sources contribute 11 per cent of the total national penetration rate.

Government seeks to increase access to electricity as part of efforts to continuously improve Rwanda’s investment climate.

According to the current national strategy, off-grid energy solutions are expected to contribute 48 per cent of the country’s power needs while on-grid solutions will account for 52 per cent.

Rwanda’s total electricity generation capacity is at 208.36 mega watts as at end of July 2017. Government’s new seven-year power roll out plan targets to connect all households to electricity within this period.

The government is using the 7-5-2 plan, where all the households are expected to be connected to power by 2024, productive users by 2022, while the whole of Kigali will be connected by in the next two years by 2019.

More about the campaign

Ninsiima said the new campaign will showcase the usability of solar energy to the public in rural areas, adding that they will also explain the benefits of using clean and renewable energy.

“Renewable energy is sustainable and we are providing a good power solution to cover the energy gap and transforming lives. We are excited to contribute to the eradication of kerosene lamps,” he said at the launch.

According to him, the BBOXX solar home system comes with essential home appliances like a radio, portable torch and television set. The system is at affordable prices and customers pay for it over a three-year period.

Users speak out

Venuste Burindwi has been using BBOXX solar energy for eight months. He said access to energy has enabled his school-going children to do revision at night, a situation that has helped improve their performance.

“Since we are not connected to the national grid, my children would find it hard to revise or do homework. That’s why I decided to buy a BBOXX solar home system...I am happy with the results,” Burindwi said. Burindwi pays Rwf3,900 every month to repay the loan.

Jeanette Mukantwari, a P6 pupil, said she would to convince her parents to buy the solar home system “so that I can revise my books with fear of headaches and other sicknesses that result from use of kerosene lamps or candles.”

BBOXX started operations in Rwanda in 2014 and has so far electrified 40,000 households across the country. It has 26 outlets across the country.

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