Up to 80 percent of Ugandans live without electricity and rely on alternative sources of lighting such as candles, kerosene lamps, grass, and wood. These alternatives are expensive, unfriendly to the environment and expose families to fire hazards, and respiratory diseases.
Since the introduction of the Barefoot Connect product range in 2013, the number of households in East and West Africa enjoying reliable and affordable home energy has grown rapidly. The End-users have appreciated the products so much, that they have become an important part of our sales force, recommending the products to neighbors, friends and family.
In addition to supplying the Barefoot Connect and Barefoot Go products to customers, we have expanded our offering to include installations services and trainings in maintenance and after sales support. The Barefoot Power Uganda team piloted this concept for the first time in 2012 as the “Light Up A Village” (LUAV) program in the village of 2012 Olympic Gold Medal winner, marathon runner Stephen Kiprotich. Since then, LUAV has been replicated many times across the country. Partners for implementation of these projects included WWF, Caritas Uganda, UNICEF and Coca Cola Ltd.
Barefoot Power Uganda is expanding its LUAV program rapidly with a number of partners, among others Caritas Uganda. Every month more than 500 Caritas families across eight different areas of the country sign up for one of the products. Installation is done by the Barefoot Power Uganda technicians while selected members from the community are trained in both installation and after sales support. The reception of the products has been very good, but most importantly; customers have stopped spending money on kerosene and enjoy good light and clean air inside their homes!
With installation projects currently ongoing in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda, Barefoot Power is offering an exciting new approach to rural electrification. This approach has proven to be highly cost effective and scalable. In addition, it’s creating jobs in the communities, provides bright and non-hazardous lighting and acts as the next stepping stone to complete off-grid energy services.