OVER 590 SOLAR PRODUCTS SOLD IN CREEC LETS GO SOLAR CAMPAIGN
CREEC has over the last five years actively engaged in programs to accelerate the demand and adoption of solar products through awareness campaigns, radio talk shows and training. The motivation behind these interventions is to increase access to modern types of energy. Efforts like this have also helped to respond to the energy demand which is standing at more than 75% in Uganda according to the World Bank 2018 report. The centre has also embraced partnerships which play a key role in the delivery of such sustainable energy projects. In 2019, such partnerships have been realised through the Lets go solar campaign. A consumer protection and awareness campaign that has over a course of six months been implemented in Kampala, Arua, Mbale and Soroti districts leading to up to over 590 solar products sold and over 60 experts trained and assessed by the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) which was achieved with the support of the United Nations Community Development Fund (UNCDF) and the Department for International Development (DFID).
Left: A customer after purchasing a solar home system, Right: the guest of honour at the exhibition launch in Arua district
The dynamic of the companies that participated in the campaign created a platform that enabled the exposure of a variety of solar products ranging from solar bulbs, solar home systems, solar water pumps and solar water heaters. The Uganda Solar Energy Association (USEA) played a key role in mobilizing over 15 of its member companies who were on the frontline of educating and providing information on the usability of the different solar products. This also helped communities to have ample information on solar as a technology that will enable individuals to to be well informed even when making future solar related purchases. The campaign which was also implemented by CREEC with Energy without Borders (EWB) also enabled solar distributors to find new potential markets that led to the establishment of new distribution stations in the Eastern and Northern regions of Uganda. Electricity is a great necessity that can positively impact rural communities through improved health to better educational facilities as well as through providing lighting in rural areas which can increase safety and security.
During this campaign, we have also noted that the media plays a key role in providing information that is easily accessible to rural communities even in the areas that the campaign was not able to reach physically. Therefore much as the campaign was stationed in the areas of Arua, Soroti and Mbale, we also managed to attract individuals from the neighbouring communities to come and benefit from the products exhibited during the campaign. This campaign has played a key role in fulfilling our mission of increasing access to modern types of energy and we continue to strive to make similar partnerships to enable us to reach this goal.