A Brighter Future
Located in northern Congo, Garamba National Park has 100,000 people living on its boundary and a budding solar energy initiative. In June this year, the park launched the first two solar mini-grids in the towns of Tadu and Faradje, with plans to launch a third in early 2022 which will ultimately bring solar energy to 14,000 households and small enterprises, giving communities a reliable basic energy supply for the very first time.
In addition to the solar mini-grids, Garamba is subsidizing the sale and distribution of solar lighting systems at a reduced local price for the exclusive benefit of surrounding communities. Since the project launched in September 2020, 4,218 solar lamps and 1,256 multi-light solar systems have been sold. Through this solar programme, Garamba is able to improve the socio-economic well-being of surrounding communities, as children can now study at night, businesses can have longer trading hours, boosting the economy and creating a sustainable future for all.
Maman Bibiane, a teacher at Institut Faradje and mother of eight, had this to say about the new initiative:
'This is the first time my children, and all the children here in Faradje, can read and learn at night. I can better plan my students’ lessons, and my family now spends more time together after the sun has gone down, under the beams of our solar lights.
I’m grateful for all Garamba has done to help our children. The park is a continued source of safety for me and my family and my entire community, and now one could say it is truly a source of light.'