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Lack of access to electricity imposes significant constraints on livelihoods and economic activities. Salpha Energy identified communities in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria – predominantly populated by farmers, traders, and government workers – without access to constant electricity supply from the grid for both domestic and business needs. As a result of this energy poverty, many of the residents resorted to fossil fuels and petrol-powered generators., resulting in impaired livelihoods and income generation, compounded by an increase in environmental pollution due to increased carbon footprint.
Action
In 2020, USADF awarded Salpha Energy a $25K grant with a $75K investment from All On in grants and debt, to provide access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for a minimum of over 1,800 bottom-of-the-pyramid customers in rural, remote and peri-urban areas in Akwa Ibom. Diamond Development Initiatives provided local project management and business advisory assistance.
Result
With this investment from USADF and All On, Slapha Energy distributed over 2,000 (1200+ homes and 800+ businesses) solar home systems (SHS) across Etinan, Ibesikpo, Abak, Uyo, and Ikot Ekpene LGAs in Akwa Ibom State in the Niger Delta region, connecting them to clean, reliable pay-as-you-go solar energy for productive and domestic use. With this access to and productive use of electricity, there has been a significant increase in economic activities and business hours resulting in increased income for the traders, and improved livelihood for the residents.
The project has also resulted in the training and direct employment of 70 salespersons, 15 technicians and engineers and 10 administrative staff members, while many youth graduates have received vocational training in preparation for a career in the Nigerian off-grid/solar industry. Additionally, Salpha Energy has scaled up to higher versions of SHS, Solar-powered fans, and devices capable of powering other home appliances like DC fridges, TV sets and fans.
Immediately after the project in 2021, Salpha Energy also received a $1 million investment from All On, a Shell-funded impact investment firm, to scale the company’s solar home systems distribution business.
Quote From Project Participant:
“I’m a fashion designer. My business relies heavily on power supply – for ironing, cutting, and sewing, as I use an electric sewing machine. I have seen a significant increase in my income as a result of connecting to Salpha Energy Solar power. Before I got connected, I was earning a monthly income of about 240 USD. But after the connection, my income has doubled, as I now earn over 480 USD monthly. This is due to prolonged working hours as a result of access to reliable electricity and a reduction in overhead costs. I was spending about 35 to 40 USD monthly on kerosene, charcoal and petrol, and an additional amount on generator repairs. All that has stopped and now contributing to my monthly earnings.” – Victor Igbewe, a resident of Ikot-Abasi Itam, Akwa Ibom State

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