Rural Tanzanian Dispensary Electrification - ODI

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Rural Tanzanian Dispensary Electrification - ODI

Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Our venture is based on a successful World Bank backed pilot: the installation of solar panels on rural off-grid medical dispensaries. These installations would power a microscope for diagnosing malaria, a small fridge for storing vaccines, and provide light for evening births et al.

These installations would also generate revenue, thus lending the venture sustainability, through a cell phone charging business.

Furthermore, through implementing this venture our solar installers will go to off-grid communities and train local technicians how to install and maintain solar PV systems, thereby supporting local employment.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Like much of Sub Saharan Africa, less than 3% of rural households in Mbinga and Tunduru are connected to the electrical grid. The paucity of modern energy in rural Tanzania poses a number of environmental, economic, gender and health issues, such as deforestation, the burden on women and children in collecting and buying firewood, and smoke inhalation. In this context there have been a number of efforts to implement projects to increase electrification in Tanzania’s rural areas. This need is especially acute when it comes to the needs rural medical dispensaries, for many Tanzanians they are the only health facilities available. But without electricity they are not able to use microscopes to diagnose Malaria, refrigerate vaccines and other drugs, and perform evening deliveries and other procedures.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

In 2010 ENSOL Tanzania Ltd. was chosen from over 80 received proposals to implement a rural electrification and health care project by The Rural Energy Agency, an organization supported by the government of Tanzania and the World Bank. Ensol was awarded $99,800 to install solar pv systems in 20 dispensaries in both the districts of Mbinga and Tunduru in Ruvuma Region. These installations would power a microscope for diagnosing malaria, a small fridge for storing vaccines, and also generate revenue from cell phone charging to pay to accommodate a community health care provider. Further, through implementing this project ENSOL trained local technicians how to install and maintain solar PV systems, thus supporting local employment.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Our Tanzanian team, a well established solar installation business, would identify off-grid rural dispensaries that cater to sizeable populations and also have significant ensolation (sunlight). Then, through our partnership with the ministry of health and local government officials as in the successful pilot, we would agree to install solar panels and electrify that dispensary. Once electrified the dispensary will also charge the market rate for cell phone charging. The income from the cell phone charging operations will then be remitted, via mobile banking, to a separate bank account and used to further fund the scalinf of the venture and also support health workers in the rural community.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Most solar installers in the region are based in commercial centers such as Arusha and Dar es Salaam.


Jimi Akindele's picture

Thus far I plan to start implementing in Tanzania. Any ideas of other countries where this approach would work? Lets roll.

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