When EarthSpark launched the first grid electricity in Les Anglais, Haiti, Jean-Jean Charles was afraid he wouldn't be able to afford the $30 connection fee. For years, he had used kerosene lamps to light the blue house where he lives with his three children. “Sometimes, I would charge a 12-volt battery at the church’s diesel generators and bring it home so that I could charge my mobile phone and power a small radio… I knew I needed a change, but my small income from growing peas and breadfruit and helping my father run a small school wasn't enough”.
This project allows customers to pay for electricity in small instalments, spending only as much as they can afford and eliminating the fear of a big bill at the end of the month. Thanks to this scheme , Jean-Jean said, “I found the money and put away smoky lamps and dangerous wires!”
In Haiti, 75% of households lack access to electricity. Farmers lack access to post-harvest facilities such as mills, storage, and processing equipment. This limits farmers’ ability to benefit from the full value of their crops. Processing and packaging crops near their source keeps more of the economic value in the region.
Thanks to the grid many customers simply power lights and charge phones, but others leverage this electricity to run small businesses. Blaise Heromme is a member of a team of local electricians responsible for wiring homes and businesses “I’m going house to house in Les Anglais, marking out installation locations for future customer’s smart-meters”.
Until now 450 connections such as homes, farmers and agribusinesses (around 2,000 people) have access to clean electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week while paying far less than they would for kerosene. The next target? To make energy poverty a thing of the past in Haiti!
EarthSpark International (NGO)