- OVO Foundation increases its investment in Project Jua, an energy access project that will positively impact 300,000 people across 300 sites in 3 years
- The project is helping to progress three of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and support Kenya’s overall electrification programme
- Solar energy will power educational equipment in schools and lighting in hospitals in some of Kenya’s poorest and hardest to reach areas
- By increasing access to affordable and reliable energy in sub-Saharan Africa the project improves young people’s education and health
London, 13 May 2019 – OVO Foundation is expanding its energy access project in Kenya, electrifying over 300 schools and health clinics in the hardest-to-reach parts of Kenya.
Around the world 1.1bn people do not have access to electricity, including 600m in sub-Saharan Africa. Through Project Jua, OVO Foundation is supporting the Kenyan Government’s overall electrification programme and helping the country leapfrog the need to power their lives from centralised polluting fossil fuel plants through innovative off-grid solutions.
Project Jua builds on its 2017 pilot, in which the OVO Foundation installed 20 solar systems in two of the poorest counties in Kenya: Turkana and Kilifi. The success of this pilot demonstrates the cost-effectiveness of delivering off-grid solar and storage on a relatively small scale in the development sector.
By installing solar systems the project aims to bring electricity to hard to reach areas that are currently off-grid or do not have access to reliable energy sources. The power will be used for educational equipment such as tablets and computers – helping to bridge the rural and urban digital divide – as well as lighting in health clinics which is especially important in a country where maternal mortality is more than double the global average.
For millions of people without access to electricity, electrification has brought life-changing benefits, leading to improved education outcomes, a safer environment for children to study at nighttime, and a reliable electricity supply for vaccines and medical equipment.
Project Jua is now expanding to five counties where electrification is far below the national average of 56%, including:
- Turkana (2.4%)
- Kwale (10.6%)
- Taita-Taveta (15%)
- Kilifi (16.7%)
- Isiolo (18.5%)
Gaby Sethi, Head of OVO Foundation and CSR, said:
“At OVO Foundation we share OVO’s vision to power human progress with clean and affordable energy. Energy is an enabler that lays the foundation for effective and meaningful human development; without it, not much else is possible. We’re delighted to be benefiting 300,000 people over the course of three years, whilst helping to progress three of the Sustainable Development Goals, and supporting the Kenyan government’s national electrification project. By lighting rooms and powering equipment, we are creating a safer environment for those accessing healthcare services and helping bridge the rural/urban digital divide in education.”
OVO Foundation is the sole funder of the project, and is supported by 80,000+ OVO Energy customers who donate each month by adding at least 25p to their monthly statement. OVO Foundation will again partner with Energy 4 Impact to deliver the project, which shares a vision of creating a better quality of life for everyone through access to clean energy.
Godfrey Sanga, Energy 4 Impact’s Director, East Africa said:
“We’re thrilled to continue supporting the OVO Foundation’s ambitions to expand energy access in Kenya. This initiative complements the government’s electrification efforts by targeting communities where grid-based solutions are not viable because of their remoteness and high investment cost. We owe the success of the pilot to the overwhelming support by county governments and to the effective partnership with the local communities, schools, health clinics, and Sollatek, the solar equipment supplier. The benefits of a scaled-up programme will extend to the poorest and most deprived people of Kenya.”
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- 40% of schools rely on solar panels as their only source of power
- 80% of schools say they can better carry out educational tasks
- 50% of schools offering up to 6 hours per day of extra study time
Impact to date:
- In some schools, there is just one teacher to 120 students and so being able to power a projector and charge tablets has a significant impact on improving the learning environment and providing children with educational resources.
- In health clinics for the first time, nurses are able to use equipment that had never been used before, including oxygen machines which are sometimes vital to keep babies alive when they’re born. Having power also means that health clinics are able to store life-saving vaccines in the fridge.
About OVO Foundation
OVO Foundation is OVO Energy’s charity. It was created in 2014 to expand OVO Energy’s charitable giving and bring caring closer to home. OVO Foundation’s mission is to support inspiring organisations with smart ideas in three areas: youth poverty, education, and energy and the environment. At the heart of it all is our mission to give young people a better future. More than 81,000 OVO Energy customers choose to donate to OVO Foundation each month by adding at least 25p to their monthly statement. OVO Energy matches all customer donations doubling the power of what we can achieve together.
The OVO Charitable Foundation (“OVO Foundation”) is a registered charity – its charity registration number is 1155954.
To learn more, visit https://www.ovofoundation.org.uk
About Energy 4 Impact
Energy 4 Impact is a non-profit organisation working with local businesses to extend access to energy in Africa, impacting the quality of life of millions of people. The organisation works in East and West Africa and operates from regional offices, with its head office in London. Formerly known as GVEP International, Energy 4 Impact was registered as a UK charity in 2007. It evolved from a partnership between the World Bank, UNDP and other bi-lateral donors, launched at the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2002.