Today marks the annual observance of the United Nations’ International Day of Families. This global commemoration highlights the importance that the international community attaches to families and their role in development. The theme for 2019 – Families and Climate Action – focuses on families, family policies and major SDG13 targets for climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning, including improving education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity-building.
Across the globe, Shine partners are increasing investments and scaling resources to empower a bright and sustainable future for the 1 billion people still living without access to electricity. Campaign partner CEFA has been active in the field of rural electrification for more than 30 years, bringing clean, affordable and reliable energy to the last mile communities in Tanzania, where climate change is causing higher temperatures, flooding and drought and a rise in sea level that threatens agricultural production and livelihoods for millions of Tanzanians. CEFA has developed three hydro mini-grids in the country’s Southern Highlands. Managed by the community-based utility Matembwe Village Company established by CEFA and its local development partners in 1989, the Ikondo-Matembwe mini-grid alone serves seven villages and more than 1,200 users.
Users like the Chimpele family.
Thanks to the Ikondo-Matembwe hydro mini-grid, parents Zebedaio and Zabera and their three children Zabron, Elizabeti and Canti now have access to guaranteed energy services – and all the benefits that come with having clean, safe electricity.
Zebedaio manages a milling machine. Now, he’s able to charge his phone whenever he wants without having to make a special trip to one of the charging stands in the village. This helps him stay in touch with the other workers at his mill. His wife Zabera has also started using an electric iron, which is much safer and quicker than the traditional charcoal one she used to use.
Access to energy is improving educational opportunities for the Chimpele children, as well. The kids can do their homework during evening hours now, leaving them time during the day to help their parents with family chores.
The Chimpele family were able to afford in 2017 the connection cost to the local mini-grid with the distance support of an Italian family.
“We are really happy to have electricity and light now,” said Zabera. “One of the main reasons is that it has become much easier to get water, thanks to an electric pump that powers a public fountain near home. No more long walks for me and my children to fetch up water at the river!”