Stories from the Field: Bahati Village

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Mrs Tsui is a fruit and vegetable seller in Bahati, a small village about 50 kilometres outside Kilifi town. Until a few weeks ago, she had been using a Koroboi – Kerosene lamp – to power her shop in the evening hours. Because kerosene is expensive and does not produce sufficient light she usually closed her shop early in the evening.

Irene, our sales agent in Kilifi county made the long dusty journey to Bahati village to sell solar lamps via the schools in the region. Mrs Tsui was extremely impressed with the product but was convinced she could not afford it. However, through our instalment model, she was able to purchase our smallest lamp at KSH1000/= (about 84 SEK) via two monthly instalments of 500/= (about 42 SEK) each. She was intent on buying our larger and more expensive lamp, but could not afford to do so.

Since buying the solar lamp, she has increased her product offering and now cooks and sells chips and mhogo (cassava crisps). With the increased income, Mrs Tsui now feels our larger solar lamp and even our solar home system are within reach. She is now planning to buy a larger lamp and use it to run a café.  Mrs Tsui has experienced increases in her income by saving on energy that she previously purchased (kerosene). Also, she is now able to extend her business hours and run the shop more efficiently.