Bringing light and hope to Madagascar
At a time when our attention is largely concentrated on the pandemic, it is perhaps appropriate to remind ourselves that the many other problems of the World have not gone away. These problems are too numerous to list here and whilst Rotarians help to tackle some of them it remains an uphill task particularly as our resources, both financial and manpower, are stretched. It is therefore encouraging for us in Tenterden to be able to report on a project that is being planned to help people living in one of the poorest countries in the World. It is a project that involves other Rotary Clubs and highlights how co-operation across the Rotary Organisation can benefit problems in different countries.
Madagascar is an island nation and one of the poorest countries in the World. Eight out of 10 people live below the poverty line. Only 15% have access to electricity. This lack of electricity stifles economic development and ensures continuing poverty and a mediocre quality of life.
This project aims to develop the local economy through the electrification of rural dwellings, and to provide some community lighting for shops and Basic Health Centres.
Electricity will be generated using solar panels with power fed into a network of nano-grids, each comprising 4 or 5 dwellings and each connected to a battery. These are then linked to nano networks which are then linked to a network. Training of local people to be technicians will be important and the expected economic growth should generate additional need for other jobs and create training opportunities.
We will specifically concentrate on the district of Antsiranana in the Diana Region of the Country, a largely rural area where 90% of the 36,720 rural dwellings lack electricity and people have to use candles or kerosene lamps for lighting.
The Madagascar Project will take about 2 years to complete and will be managed by a partnership involving
Tenterden Rotary Club are raising funds for this project and other projects, you can help by donating here: https://www.justgiving.com/rotarycluboftenterden