A brighter outlook on energy poverty

Published by Global Envision – June 22, 2015

Republished by Christian Science Monitor – July 28, 2015

In rural Uganda, light streams from the Ssenyonjo family’s windows through the night. The children inside sleep soundly, free from worry of snakes and thieves. They are prepared for the morning’s classes after an evening of study. What’s more, their lungs are healthy–no one wakes with coughing fits or fevers.

But for nearly one-fifth of the world’s population that does not yet have solar power like the Ssenyonjo family, this vision of clean energy is still a dream. Some 1.3 billion people live without access to electricity.

Energy poverty not only affects basic comfort–it limits the possibility for economic development. Children are unable to study when the sun goes down, rendering education ineffective. Health facilities are inadequate, job opportunities are minimal, and time is wasted in walking hours to the market for kerosene, which damages both health and the environment. 



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