The Rural Energy Access Project (REAP)
The Rural Energy Access Project is the lighting and heating component of RUWES developed to bring affordable energy solutions to the underserved and underprivileged rural dweller. The average rural inhabitant has no access to electricity or electric solutions to improve on the quality of life. They rely mostly on sunlight during the day and kerosene lamps or candles at night, these impacts very negatively on health by exposing them to black carbon and PM2.5 and economic disadvantage, leaving them in a constant vicious never-ending cycle.
The REAP employs the vehicle of small renewable energy appliances which provide lighting and mini electric solutions to the most energy poor in the Nation. These appliances include but are not limited to Solar lighting kits, solar barbing kits, solar sewing machines and more. The REAP aims to use the earth’s abundant natural resources to positively affect the lives of the rural poor.
REAP is proposing a reduction in our National emission factor (by using clean, energy efficient LED bulbs) and introducing Household Stand-Alone Solar kits (pay-as-you-go inclusive) to replace incandescent bulbs, single-wick kerosene and Oil wicks/lanterns and small generators in rural areas. This will consist of a television set (19”, 21”, 28” or 32”), a fan, a mobile phone charging port and 2-4 LED bulbs.
The goal of the project is to ensure affordable and sustainable clean energy access to the rural poor and reduce black carbon emissions by;
- Phasing out single-wick kerosene lighting and oil lamps through the introduction of small off-grid lighting systems that use light emitting diodes (LEDs).
- Provision of Household Stand Alone Solar Solutions (solar lights, barbing kits, grinding machines etc)
- Lead the rest of Africa on the kerosene lantern phase-out in schools by 2020
- Provide clean and healthy alternative for heating during harmattan in Northern States to replace firewood and charcoal.
- Introducing Household Solar Lighting and Entertainment systems of different price range for off-grid communities.
The success of the REAP is best exemplified by the installation of solar home systems to 600 households in Mutum Biu, Gassol LGA of Taraba State. The provision of the solar home systems to the off-grid LGA instantly reduced crime rate, improved and extended commercial operating hours, stimulated children study groups and changed the lives of the inhabitants.
The National Clean Cooking Scheme (NCCS)
The National Clean Cooking Scheme is the cooking component of the RUWES. It seeks to address the need for clean cooking technologies. It is also an ongoing initiative, which is implemented in different states and rural communities of the nation according to available resources, in conjunction with our development partners. It seeks to address the need for clean cooking technologies. The need for a shift in our prevalent cooking methods is very evident as deforestation and desertification loom larger daily. This menace is occasioned primarily by tree felling for cooking and heating purposes. The number of trees felled for use as fuel wood is far in excess of wood for furniture and other industrial uses. Kerosene which is a national alternative to firewood is usually scare, very difficult to source and detrimental to health.
The success of this scheme can also be exemplified through the RUWES retrofitting of four (4) boarding secondary schools in Kaduna State, who heavily depended solely on the use of wood fuel for cooking. This was achieved by the intervention funding from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), through the African Adaptation Programme (ADP). The retrofit involved switching the kitchens from firewood to fully automated LPG use in furtherance of this scheme.
The beneficiary schools are as follows:
- Federal Government Girls’ College, Zaria.
- Government Girls’ Secondary School, Kawo.
- Government Secondary School, Fadan Kaje.
- Government Secondary School, Kwoi.
We hope to replicate this project in various schools and related institutions in various states across the Federation.
Also, RUWES, through UNDP intervention fund, has provided industrial cookstoves for women clusters for agricultural value addition. These kinds of projects are intended to be replicated in various communities, boarding schools and related institutions in different states across the federation.
Before and after retrofitting at Kawo
RUWES Awareness Drive
RUWES intends to raise awareness about the connection between health, poverty and fuel sources, and to organize and galvanize rural women to demand for sustainable alternatives that will provide a lasting solution to the problem.
In our efforts to create awareness on the health, financial, and environmental benefits for clean energy and advocate for a shift to cleaner energy practices, the RUWES Initiative has carried out several awareness visits to different churches in the Federal Capital Territory, these include the Good Tidings Church, the Christian Reform Church of Nigeria (CRCN) and the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Nigeria (RCCG). The RUWES initiative was also present at the U.S Embassy’s Eco Week.
During these visits, the RUWES team gives lectures and demonstrations on the latest clean energy technologies, and has successfully reached and registered a vast number of its target audience; the female members who comprise the major percentage of victims of indoor air pollution emanating from traditional fuel use.