Light for the Tailor Shop

Fufa Dechassa and Gutuma Tolesse are both farmers in Abune Ginde Beret. This implies a lot of hard work on the field. To be able to support their families they also work as tailors. But there is a problem: In Ethiopia daylight is only available from about 6 am to 6 pm throughout the year. In the dark Fufa and Gutuma can neither work on the field nor operate a sewing machine. So far this meant either farming or tailoring.

 

 

Lighting up

That is why Fufa and Gutuma decided to buy a solar system which provides electricity for them to have light in the evenings. This possibility is still completely new.

Solar technicians such as Alemu Gedeta were trained by Menschen für Menschen and now supply the surrounding villages with small solar systems, install them, offer maintenance and ensure that broken systems are recycled in compliance with environmental regulations. This provides them with a stable income and facilitates investing in a solar system for farmers such as Fufa and Gutuma; a win-win situation.

A solar technician needs about 30 minutes to install the small panel on the roof of a hut. After the installation the technicians are available to maintain the system, answer queries or, for example, exchange the storage battery after a few years. Two lamps are now going to provide light in the evenings.

 

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Clever investment

“Now I can sew clothes or do small repairs in the evening after the fieldwork”, Fufa is happy about the light in his hut.

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This allows him to improve his income. Soon he will have recovered the cost for the solar system – of that he is sure.

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“We now also need less kerosene, and the smoke from the kerosene lamp doesn’t cause our eyes to burn anymore,” says Gutuma’s wife. “In addition to that our children have sufficient light to study in the evenings, which means they will do better in school.”

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Gutuma’s six year old daughter Kibnesh is also happy about evenings now being “lighter”.