Installation and repairs – solar powered Lighting and refrigeration systems
In May 2005, SFYDP provides the Konta Line with solar home light systems and solar lanterns. A caretaker committee known as ‘the Konta Line Solar Home Light Management Committee (KSHMC),which consists of inhabitants of Kontaline and representatives from Safer Future was formed to ensure the proper handling of the systems and to be a guarantor, ensuring the terms of the contract between the beneficiaries and Safer Future are upheld.
The (KSHMC) selected the households which will get a home light system based on the agreement set up by the town committee and the community members and together with Safer Future handled the contract details with the head of each beneficiary household.
A solar home light system serves as a clean, safe and powerful source of light for the households involved in the project. The system consists of a fixed solar panel, a battery and 4 fixed solar lamps per system. The lanterns/lamps have a built-in battery which is charged through a portable panel.
With the installation of the solar lighting systems, the situation for the school children in the community improved significantly; now they have proper light for doing their homework and studies in the evenings. Each lamp or lantern caters for 10 children for their studies and other activities. The communities can now hold meetings after 7 p.m. to discuss development and religious places also benefit from these systems.
The lamps and lanterns do not pollute the environment with any emissions, noise or smell. The users are saved from the ever increasing kerosene costs and, therefore, the energy source is potentially available to all families. The handling of the lanterns is simple and the materials are well made ensuring a life span of the system of up to 20 years or more.
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES FOR SLE
The Safer Future Youth Development Programme has actively researched and implemented alternative energy sources in Sierra Leone, especially in the rural communities where people have no access to any kind of electricity. About 90% of people in the rural communities cannot afford to purchase generators because the maintenance costs are very high; pollution from such sources is likewise significant. Traditionally, the only source of light is candles, open fires and kerosine lamps, which are not suitable for the efficient supply of light and are very dangerous to life and properties. Limited access to energy and light means generally less time for children to study and for other activities for the entire community. However, the natural conditions in the country are well suited to the use of solar technology and it is proving an effective and cost-efficient solution to sustainable energy needs in the country.
With funding from Sunshine Fellowship, Safer future had tow (2) staff, Idriss S. Kamara and Moray Hengoi, trained at the Barefoot College in India, specializing in Basic Solar Engineering. With their knowledge and solar equipment, Safer Future installed solar power in the rural community of Kontaline, Koya Rural District and as well as establish the Rural Electronic Workshop in Nyangbatown, near Joe Town.