Akadi: Investing in clean energyIncreasing access to affordable and clean energy in rural Togo
Energy is one of the most essential elements for sustaining livelihoods.
At a basic level, energy provides heat, warmth and light – cooked meals, potable water and safety. But in rural Togo, eight out of ten households live without access to modern energy. This lack of access to clean, sustainable energy keeps people locked into poverty and affects all areas of their lives.
When the sun goes down, families struggle to work or study. Homes are lit with dirty, dangerous and inefficient kerosene lamps and families cook with polluting, traditional indoor stoves. These outdated energy sources are responsible for respiratory infections, childhood burns, house fires and deforestation, as well as being uneconomical both in time and household spending.
Women and girls are the most affected by the lack of clean and affordable energy as they are often responsible for fuel collection and cooking.
To respond to this challenge, in Spring 2021 we launched a new programme named Akadi, which means ‘light’ and ‘fire’ in Ewe, the local language. Akadi is a clean energy, social enterprise project which will tackle energy poverty, household air pollution and deforestation, all whilst providing new income-generating opportunities for local women.
Whilst clean energy products are often out of reach for the poorest, through Akadi, we are enabling families to pay for solar lamps and clean cookstoves in small instalments. With the savings made from lower fuel costs, they are able to pay off the full cost of the products in only a few months.
We are training local women to become “Akadi Entrepreneurs” and they will educate their local communities about the benefits of clean energy, whilst making a regular income from selling clean energy products.
In our first year we will work alongside our partner and community leaders to distribute 1,200 clean energy products to 800 families stuck in energy poverty by April 2022. Starting with the rural communities Deki already supports through our livelihood development programmes. We anticipate that 4,000 people will benefit by April 2022.
Since Akadi is a not-for-profit enterprise, profits made from sales will be reinvested back into the project to help meet operational costs. After 2-3 years we aim to have grown Akadi to the point where it no longer needs overseas aid and is a self-sufficient, local-owned and female–driven social enterprise.
Please join us in the fight against climate change and global poverty. With your support, we can give families the opportunity to access clean and affordable energy.
If you would like to find out more about the Akadi clean energy enterprise, please follow the link to our blog