A loan of $3,500 helped a member to pay for solar lamps and efficient cookstoves.


Muchumba Self Help Group's story

Muchumba Self Help Group is a community group with 20 members representing 20 families, with an aim of combining resources for self empowerment. Since its initiation in the year 2012, the group members have saved together to buy water tanks for their families. They have been using the merry-go-round system, though, so only 10 of them have received the water tanks as they are only able to buy one tank per month. Their problem is not only water. Since most of them cannot afford to install electricity in their homes, they are forced to buy kerosene for lighting and firewood for cooking. Having partnered with Visionary Empowerment Programme, they have learned that they can benefit from a more affordable credit scheme to enable them to access quality renewable energy products.

As a result, they have all benefited from a loan to purchase a solar package for their home and an efficient cookstove. The solar package will enable them charge their mobile phones and use a small radio as well as save them from buying kerosene again. The efficient cookstove will save them at least 50% of the firewood they had been using with traditional cookstoves, therefore easing the burden of collecting firewood daily. The cookstove also reduces smoke emission and will be better for their health.

Since they are all farmers, proceeds from their farming businesses and the little they save by not buying kerosene will enable them pay the loan. Thanks to green energy technologies, more homes can enjoy improved lives.

John and Simon, standing 3rd from left and 2nd from right respectively, are brothers in law. John is the group chair and Simon is the coordinator, positions they earned as they pioneered the group formation. They, like the rest of the group members, wish to get empowered through renewable energy products that save them money and create a better environment for their families. Their future plan is to supply the lamps to their neighbors as a business.

In this group: Teresia , Mary, Agnes, Catherine , Alice , Sarah, Mary, Mary, Margaret, Lucy, Anjelika*, Eunice , Priscilla , Nancy, Margaret, Josephine , Milka , Simon , Jonah*, John
*not pictured



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