“Makes life better” — Meet Amos & Nancy
During our trip together with Pawame we also got to meet two of their customers, Amos and Nancy. They live in a remote area in the outskirts of Kitale town, Kenya. On their property it was a small mudhouse (about to fall apart) and a bigger house made of stone with a steel roof. Elly, Regional Sales Manager for Pawame, told us that the family had most likely lived in the mud house before they could afford to build the new house. That had been the case for Elly and his family, something not entirely uncommon in rural Kenya.
Amos works as an accountant for a school and Nancy runs a small business, selling vegetables and fruits in the local community. They also have some land where they grow crops like maize and sugarcane. One thing that strikes us during our chat is that when we ask for how long the family has had solar energy the answer comes instantly: “250 days.”
The family pays 90 KES/day for the solar home system, which saves them roughly 60 KES per day. Amos tells us about the journey the family has made when it comes to access to electricity. They first used kerosene, six years ago, but it was expensive (150 KES/day) and up to 1 litre could be used each day. For their children this was causing severe health effects which made them decide to buy a battery instead.
Once a week Amos went to charge the battery for a cost of 100 KES. The battery itself had been quite an investment for the family since it costed 6000 KES to buy, and this proved to be a expensive investment since the battery broke and during one year they had to get 3 new batteries. Amos got the word about Pawame and their solar home system by a passionate neighbour and decided to buy a system as a back-up to the unreliable grid electricity. They are connected to it but it is very unreliable and electricity can go off for weeks without them knowing when it may come back.
The family now have two solar home systems. They have a smaller one that is placed in their son’s room and a bigger one with TV which is used in their living room. For the money they save they can get better food and most importantly:
Invest in their future.
Amos told us that once the system is paid off they will invest the extra 90 KES in their farm. They will get herbicides for their crops and are dreaming about starting a pig farm. This is what struck us the most. Amos and Nancy have it all figured out, they know how they can turn their savings into investment in their life and make the money grow - not only give them a better tomorrow but a brighter future. It’s just the capital that is missing. Imagine what they can achieve if they get the right conditions.
Key benefits with solar according to Amos & Nancy
- “More study time for our kids”
Before their children would get watery eyes due to inhaling the toxic fumes from the kerosene lamps. This prevented them from studying and they could also be late to school due to not being able to do their morning routines before the sun came up. Now they can start even when it’s dark and thus be able to make it to school in time.
- “The days have become longer”
Before getting solar energy they went to bed at 8pm because there wasn’t anything they could do once it got pitch dark. Now the evening is extended with extra hours and they can spend time together as a family. This has made their social life better as well, since they now have a lot of friends coming over to hang out in the evening.
- “Our kids prefer to hang out in their home”
A major concern for Amos and Nancy before getting the TV and lights was that their older children didn’t have anything to do and could be tempted to go out and end up being in bad company, start with drugs etc. Now the children prefers to be at home, bringing friends there instead and their parents don’t have to worry about their wellbeing.
- “We save time”
Since the family now have everything they need in terms of electricity they don’t have to travel long distances to make sure the phone is charged or the lights can be kept on. This saves them a lot of time that can be used for their farm, spending time together and makes life easier in every aspect.
Amos and Nancy, thanks for having us! We wish you the best of luck and look forward to see that pig farm taking shape!
/ Hanna & Michael