The initiative, led by Strathclyde University researchers, has seen affordable energy supply businesses set up in four villages. The partnership, which has been backed by a £600,000 grant from the Scottish government, ensures locals own and operate the equipment.
Only 12% of Malawi’s 18 million population is connected to the main electricity grid, which dips to 2% in rural areas. For the vast majority the main energy source is open fires, which puts pressure on the country’s forests.
“Before the project, people were travelling almost 30km to have their hair cut, now people are getting their hair cut here. The solar system is helping me a lot.”